Top 10 Foods Kids Can Cook

Top 10 Foods Kids Can Cook

Imagine sending your child off to college and promptly realizing that their only kitchen survival skills involve a microwave and a frozen pizza pocket. That’s not a scenario that I’d like to live through!

As someone who values good food and nutritional value, it’s important to me that my kids are ready to greet the world with more than a frozen pizza or take-out. Luckily, it’s never too early or too late to get them started in the kitchen.

So let’s go over a few reasons why we should get our kids ready to fend for themselves and a few ideas of where to start their repertoire.

But why teach kids how to cook? Other than just preparing them for a healthy future, teaching kids cooking skills helps them gain confidence, a feeling of self-reliance, and independence, and allows them to contribute to the family. From the beginning, involving preschoolers can refine their motor skills. And older kids also practice math and reading skills as they follow recipes. Plus, it’s a time to create memories and bond with your child. Cooking together is an multi-faceted experience with many positive outcomes (except maybe a messier kitchen).

Depending on the age and ability of your kids, they will be able to tackle a variety of tasks. But no matter the age you start, teaching kids basic kitchen and food safety is important. If you’re starting with a preschooler, your supervision is key to keeping them safe, but they need to learn the rules from the beginning.

First work on a few basic skills together; stirring, measuring, spreading. Based on their previous experience, they might be ready to work solo and come to you with questions, or maybe they need a bit more supervision. Either way, let them do as much as possible. It might end in more of a mess (which they should also learn to clean up), but it will help them learn more and gain more confidence in their abilities.

Here are a few basic foods that your kids can master in the kitchen:

  • Toast: This is one of the more basic foods, but it gives even the littlest of chefs a feeling of accomplishment. Be sure to teach safe toaster skills and supervise when appropriate.
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: A step above toast, these options help kids layer ingredients, and master spreading. They have control of what goes into their meal and can feel proud of their creations.
  • Parfaits: Layering yogurt, fruit and granola is simple, yet encourages independence and creativity.
  • Smoothies: From creating flavor combinations, to the actual smoothie making, smoothies are a great place to involve your kids. Remind them of safe blending techniques and let them create something spectacular!
  • Guacamole: Let’s not forget some healthy fats! This side is simple and uses simple kitchen skills of mashing and mixing, but packs flavor and nutrition.
  • Eggs: Whether they are boiled or scrambled, eggs are a great place to start when teaching kids about heat and how it changes food. Be sure to model and teach safe behaviors around heating elements. Eggs have lots of possibilities, so let their creativity shine.
  • Muffins: Older kids can learn to follow simple recipes quickly. Muffins and other quick breads are a great place to practice following recipes and understanding measurements.
  • Roasted Veggies: This simple side dish is versatile and easy to complete. While teaching safe knife and oven skills, your kids are more likely to love their veggies if they make them.
  • Rice and Pasta: Teaching your kids proper techniques to cook whole grains can help them add nutrition and substance to just about any meal.
  • Ground Meats: Browning ground hamburger or turkey is a great way to get them started with proteins. Teaching them safe stove-top skills will increase their abilities and options for cooking in the future.

With a good list of ideas and some reasons to get your kids in the kitchen, getting your kids started in the kitchen has never been easier. Start today by getting your kids involved. Because who knows, maybe they’ll be making you dinner someday!

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