Get your kids busy in the kitchen with these 20 easy recipes for kids. And these are great tips for teaching kids to cook, too!
My friend Katie at Kitchen Stewardship has developed a phenomenal cooking class for kids called Kids Cook Real Food! She opens enrollment every few months, and she also offers a FREE Knife Skills Class before each new class starts! Katie starts out with easy recipes, and my girls have really enjoyed the classes they have taken through this program!
If you want to teach your kids to cook, I highly recommend checking out the knife skills class and Kids Cook Real Food (the curriculum map in particular will help you know if this class is a good fit for your family)!
By Sarah Mueller, Contributing Writer
Do your kids like to work in the kitchen? Since we spend so much time preparing healthy food, it only made sense for me to train my 4 boys early on to help out. Part of their training has involved learning lots of easy recipes for kids.
Teaching kids to be independent in the kitchen has multiple benefits:
- First of all, it’s a big help for you. If a child can get himself a snack, that’s one less thing for mom or dad to do.
- In addition, cooking is fun for kids. It makes them feel important and grown up.
- Also, cooking teaches important life skills.
- Cooking (and cleaning up) increases their self-confidence because cooking may be somewhat of a mystery to kids until they start doing it themselves. Something as simple as making their own scrambled eggs can be a big deal!
- It’s very satisfying for kids to be able to cook something and serve it to others since not all children can do so.
- Being involved in the cooking encourages kids to try new foods, which is most noteworthy!
- Cooking together with your kids is fun, and, as a result, it’s a great way to spend quality time together!
Tips for teaching kids to cook
Start with simple dishes. Even making toast is a big deal to a 3-year-old.
Always supervise, especially with knives, the oven or stove, but encourage the child to be as independent as possible. Remind them of the rules frequently.
Expect a mess. Your calm reaction to a mess or a spill will help your child to know that messes are part of life. Plus, then you get a chance to help your child clean up that mess–yet another invaluable lesson in pitching in around the house.
Make it a habit to have your child help prepare dinner or other family meals on a regular basis.
Make sure they help clean up, too. Here’s a free printable kitchen cleaning checklist for kids. One day, you’ll be grateful that they know how to clean the kitchen.
Here are 20 easy recipes for kids to make all by themselves
- Toast and scrambled eggs
- Easy cinnamon coffeecake muffins
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- English muffin pizzas
- Oven-roasted potatoes
- Stove-popped popcorn (a weekly staple in our home, made by my 14-year-old)
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Walking tacos (especially if you have the ground beef already cooked)
- Homemade applesauce (made extra exciting if you use a spiral peeler!)
- Tomato soup
- 2-ingredient banana pudding
- Hot cocoa
- Easy herbal tea
- Easy homemade wheat bread (a little advanced, but such an accomplishment!)
- Hummus (let your kids customize with their favorite spices)
- Veggie plate with homemade ranch dressing for dipping
- Fruit with creamy lemon dip
- Homemade whipped cream (so fancy!)
Click here to enter to win a free copy!
When your kids start cooking, it will take longer and be messier.
You might have to endure some inedible creations! But it’s an investment in their future (and yours as they become more independent and can cook for you!). The earlier kids learn to be active and independent in the kitchen, the better.
Want even more inspiration for easy recipes your kids can make? Check out these:
- 10 Steps to Teach Kids How to Make Their Own Meals
- Learning to Cook with Your Kids
- How I’m Teaching My Kids to Cook
Great suggestions, Sarah! I love seeing you contribute here. You are so right, especially about the mess. I think it’s important to remind ourselves as moms that it will be very messy to teach our kids to work in the kitchen, but long term, the rewards will be worth the mess we experience now. I often want to do it all myself because it’s quicker and neater, but that doesn’t help my children learn their way around a kitchen. And my four year old is SO proud of himself when he cuts up grapes for a fruit salad. My 6 year old adores making sandwiches for her brothers. She’s getting better at it and with a fourth baby on the way, I’m relieved she can help with lunch.
Awesome, Gabby! Little people can be a BIG help. So glad you liked the tips and congratulations on expecting your 4th!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
I love getting kids into the kitchen. Do it early and often! My best childhood memories are of cooking with my mother and grandmothers.
So true – what’s not to love about spending time together making good things to eat? 🙂
We are a household of two adults and two rescue terrier dogs. I clicked on this post thinking that if the recipes were easy enough for children that I might find something useful for my spouse. I don’t cook so much anymore, I am having vision problems. So DH is cooking, and he does a pretty good job of it. Glad to have found an additional resource.
what age group is this for?
what type of knives are better for kids?
Anywhere from 5 and up…I would start with a butter knife.
Love this list of recipes. My boys are cooking more and more these days. It is nice to have them be real helpers in the kitchen. I noticed a huge difference the last holiday I cooked for.
I love that you are teaching your boys!
This is exactly what i was looking for. I have a 7 years old niece -little chef Ramsey hahaha- that just wants to cook everything what i do. But i was extremely worry about the safety of the kitchen environment and this article give me the tools to be a fun kitchen teacher for my niece.
Thanks for this amazing and helpful site 🙂
I bought a play pretend cookware set to initiate my niece in the kitchen and i found it so useful that i made a full review (the set is the Melissa and Doug stainless steel cookware set) https://goo.gl/9QdoVR
Thank you for the list. My daughter are a huge fan of muffins, like crazy! I always has to look for a new and fun recipes for her. Definitely will try these out this weekend.
Beautiful site. I learnt a lot. Thank you and God bless you. I need more recipes for kids.
My 20-year old granddaughter loves to cook! She has Downe syndrome but she’s very high-functioning, and I want to teach her how to do it on her own (although safely, should her parents or I not be there). Any suggestions? recipes? Thanks in advance!
BTW, she’s an angel!!
Hi Beth! I highly recommend my friend Katie Kimball’s e-course Kids Cook Real Food. I know it says “kids” in the title, but I think it would be perfect for you and your granddaughter to do together. I personally have learned through Katie’s course and blog as an adult because I never learned how to cook until I got married (and 12 1/2 years in I feel like I’m still learning!). Here’s my referral link if you’re interested: https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/kcrf/thehumbledhomemaker/ I believe Craftsy also has online cooking courses, but I can’t speak for them from personal experience. Hope that helps!
My son is 4 and always offering to help with the cooking. I could only let him help with picking vegetables, sorting cereals and cleaning up.
How old should he be before I introduce him to tasks like cutting vegetables?
My boys (5 and 8 years old) would like to help me all the time in the kitchen and these tips are going to be very helpful, so we can cook together more safely and I can let them do more things. Thanks for the tips! 🙂
Thanks for your tips 🙂 I hope my boy (4 years old) could help me soon
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