Having your kids help in the kitchen is a great way to encourage them to eat well. It can also teach them valuable life skills. It’s important to start with kid friendly recipes that are easy for them to make but are also good for them. Healthy kid friendly recipes encourage kids to try new foods without packing them full of sugar and fat. Kid friendly dinner recipes can gradually improve their cooking skills without feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. If you’re looking for kid friendly recipes that are great to teach kids valuable cooking skills and also loaded with nutrition, try these out.
Kid Friendly Recipes
The Make-A-Picture Fruit Salad
This all-time favorite kid friendly vegetarian recipe is loved by toddlers and preschoolers. Start by having the child pick out fruits that he or she likes to eat. Cut the fruit into various shapes. Parents will want to help with this part, but kids can handle cutting bananas and grapes with a plastic knife. After making a variety of shapes and colors from the fruit, have kids make pictures with the pieces. Encourage them to be creative! If desired, give them a small cup of yogurt to use as a dip.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Turkey Squids
8 turkey hot dogs
8 oz whole grain spaghetti noodles
2 tbsp mustard or ketchup
1. Bring one pot of water to a boil. 2. Break noodles in half and divide into sixteen equal groups. 3. Cut hotdog in half. 4. Insert each group of noodles into the end of one hotdog. Leave no more than three inches of noodles outside of the hot dog. 5. Place the “squids” in the boiling water. Cook for about ten minutes. 6. Use mustard to create eyes and mouth.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Apple Monsters
This is a great snack for preschoolers and young elementary school age children. To make them, gather together dried fruit, candies, an apple and some peanut butter. Place about ¼ cup of the peanut butter in a zip top plastic bag and cut a small piece off one of the corners. Next, cut a slice from the apple. This will become the monster’s mouth. Use the peanut butter to attach the fruit and candies to the apple. Get creative; make sure to give your monster hair, fangs, and horns. This is also a great recipe for a birthday party.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Individual Pizzas
Just about every kid loves pizza, but it can be tough to get everyone to agree on toppings. Instead of having a fight, let each kid make their own pizza. Use your favorite pizza dough recipe for a 16” pie, but divide the dough in half. Give each child one of these pieces and a 9” pie tin. Let the kid make their own pizza in whatever shape he or she wants. Add sauce, cheese, and toppings (ideally, use the topping to make a creative picture). Bake at the dough’s recommended temperature for 2/3 of the recommended time for a full-sized pie.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Everything Soup
This is a great recipe for a slow cooker. It’s packed with vegetables but easy enough for kids to make on their own. In fact, a lot of parents have their kids make this when they get home from school because it’s so simple.
Start by cooking one to two pounds of chicken, ground turkey, or ground beef. To make it really easy, just use whatever leftover meat you have in the fridge. For every pound of meat used, have the kids pick three or four cans of vegetables from the pantry. Since they’re picking out the vegetables themselves, they’ll be a lot more likely to eat the final product. Have them pour the entire contents of the can into the crockpot with the meat. Cook on high for at least one hour, then reduce heat to low.
Once your kids have mastered the basic recipe for Everything Soup, get creative. Try different combinations of spices (adding one tablespoon of garlic and paprika for each pound of meat is a good place to start). As they get older, it might also be a good idea to let them cut up leftover vegetables to add instead of canned vegetables.
This is also a good recipe to use for a group of kids. In fact, scout troops use a similar recipe with young children on camp outs (instead of a slow cooker, use a kettle over a campfire). Each scout brings one can of vegetables from home to add to the soup. If you decide to do this with a group, make sure to bring a few extra cans of vegetables just in case every child chooses corn.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Tacos
This is a good recipe for elementary school kids and up. Depending on the age and skill of the kids, they can prepare everything or just parts. Start by letting the kids pick their favorite protein. Older kids can cook it themselves on a frying pan on the stove. Next, let them pick toppings including cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, peppers, and other vegetables. Younger kids can grate cheese and tear lettuce, while older kids can chop vegetables.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Microwave S’mores
Alright, this one isn’t exactly a health food, but it is fun for kids to make. You’ll need all the usual stuff to make s’mores: a marshmallow, a graham cracker, and some chocolate. Place the marshmallow on a plate and microwave it for 15 seconds. It will puff up. Place it on the graham cracker and add chocolate squares.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Garden Salad
This is a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. By having kids pick and chop up their own vegetables, they are a lot more likely to actually eat them. For a simple salad dressing, have kids combine one part olive oil with one part apple cider vinegar. Make it into a science lesson by asking them why they can’t mix the two together.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Chicken Biscuit Cups
1 can of refrigerated biscuits
1 cup of chopped cooked chicken
1 can of mixed vegetables
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the biscuits. Mix well. 2. Separate and flatten each biscuit into a 6” diameter circle. 3. Place each flattened biscuit into a cup on a greased muffin tin. 4. Place about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture into each cup. 5. Pinch dough at the top to sea mixture inside cups. 6. Bake at 375 degrees for 22 minutes.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Baked French Toast
Fill one bowl with one cup milk and two tablespoons of vanilla extract. In a second bowl, crack four eggs. Take slices of thick, whole wheat bread and dip them in each bowl. Then layer the bread in a greased baking dish. Don’t be concerned if the kids don’t completely coat each piece of bread, or if the bread overlaps other pieces in the baking dish. This recipe should make enough to coat 10 pieces of bread.
Bake the French toast at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until crispy. Make sure a parent or other adult helps kids to remove the pan from the oven. Let the toast cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with fresh fruit.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Fruit and Yogurt Sundaes
This recipe is a great snack that takes kids only a few minutes to make. For each Sundae you’ll need ½ cup vanilla yogurt, fruit, and toppings. Strawberries, apples, blueberries, and raspberries work well for fruit. For toppings, try granola, oat cereal, or chocolate chips. In a clear glass, layer yogurt, chopped fruit, and a tablespoon of topping. Repeat the layers at least twice.
Kid Friendly Recipes: Baked Apple Fries
Cut an apple into eight wedges and pace them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the pieces with cinnamon. Bake in an oven for 45 minutes at 325 degrees. When the apples slices come out, they should have the consistency of baked apples on the inside, but be crispy on the outside. If desired, serve the apple fries with caramel dip. This recipe also is a good side dish with chicken strips.