If you’ve never watched Kitchen Little with your kids, I recommend you check it out the next time you flip on the TV. My husband introduced the show to my kids a few months ago and ever since then, they’ve been obsessed with it. Not only does the show feature some amazing kids cooking recipes, but they bring on celebrity chefs like Curtis Stone—who is quite easy on the eyes, might I add.
My kids love to cook with me, but when I’m working—and they’re bored—I let them try new recipes they see on the show or let them come up with their own concoctions. One day, they made blueberry smoothies with pink sprinkles on top—at least there was fruit!
Although it can get messy—last week I wiped down flour-filled countertops at least 5 times—cooking with your kids isn’t only a fun activity to do together, but it can go a long way in encouraging them to eat healthy.
In fact, when we try a new recipe together, my kids always want to taste it and they’re so proud knowing they had a hand in making the dish.
Cooking with your kids also reinforces math skills, fosters creative thinking, and builds strong family bonds. And, it’s a skill they’ll need when they get older, live on their own, and have their own families.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN KIDS COOKING RECIPES
While any recipe will do, now’s not the time to make a soufflé or Beef Wellington.
If there’s a lot of prep work and ingredients and it takes too long, neither you or your kids will be motivated to cook.
When sizing up kids cooking recipes, you’ll also have to factor in your kids’ ages and abilities.
For example, while toddlers can probably mix and stir, older kids can pour, use a kid-safe knife, read recipes and use appliances. Overall, a good rule of thumb regardless of age or cooking ability is to find recipes that are easy and quick (less than 30 minutes), and use minimal, real food ingredients.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO COOK?
If cooking isn’t your thing—no problem! With these easy kids cooking recipes, you don’t have to know a thing about the kitchen and you can learn alongside your kids.
If you want to go further, I recommend Katie Kimball’s Kids Cook Real Food video eCourse, which will help them master 30 basic cooking skills and make entire recipes with confidence and is designed for parents and kids to do together.
1. MAPLE ROASTED RAINBOW CARROTS
If your kids love arts and crafts, then they will love this recipe for Maple Roasted Rainbow Carrots.
This is the ultimate kid-friendly recipe because kids get to trim the carrots and “paint” them with olive oil and maple syrup with a pastry brush or a clean paintbrush.
I also love this recipe because it’s colorful and offers variety—which studies show encourages kids to make healthy choices.
2. RAINBOW POPSICLES
With just two ingredients and 4 simple steps, these Rainbow Popsicles make for great summer snacks.
Thanks to real, whole fruit, they’re bursting with good-for-your kids nutrition, filling fiber, and tons of sweetness.
3. LAYERED RAINBOW CHIA PUDDING
If you’re looking to get more plant-based foods in your kid’s diet or eat plant-based on a budget, chia seeds are the way to go.
Packed with protein and fiber, chia seeds are also a good source of calcium, and the highest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seed pudding couldn’t be easier to make, but if you’re looking for a recipe with tons of color, check out this one for Layered Rainbow Chia Pudding.
Bursting with berries and tropical fruit, this pudding is not only healthy and delicious but your kids will love making their own creative concoctions.
Related: 7 Kid-Friendly Ways To Use Chia Seeds
4. INSTANT POT STEAMED DUMPLINGS
One of the best ways to get kids to try new foods is to serve small bites such as a few peas or a broccoli floret.
So when it comes to kids cooking recipes, this one for Instant Pot Steamed Dumplings is a great one to try. With cabbage, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, your kids will get a healthy dose of veggies.
Even better—they only take 10 minutes to prep and are done in 30 minutes flat.
5. HOMEMADE GLUTEN-FREE + VEGAN GOLDFISH
Goldfish are a kid-favorite so why not make them with your kids?
This recipe for Homemade Gluten-Free and Vegan Goldfish are allergy-free, sugar-free and thanks to chickpea flour, have a boost of protein. Since they only take 10 minutes to bake, it’s one of the best kids cooking recipes to try.
6. HEALTHY APPLE CRISP
I know apple desserts are usually something you make in the fall, but this vegan Healthy Apple Crisp recipe is perfect all year long.
With simple, real food ingredients you probably already have on hand, and no added sugars, this is a traditional recipe you’ll rely on for years.
It’s also super-easy to make regardless of your children’s ages and only takes 5 minutes of prep work.
7. HEALTHY GREEK MASON JAR SALADS
Not only are mason jar meals one of the best healthy prep ideas, they’re also fun to pull together with your kids.
These Healthy Greek Mason Jar Salads are quick, easy, and affordable, and the recipe even includes instructions for how to get your kids involved by breaking down tasks by age.
8. STRAWBERRY VEGAN ICE CREAM
It’s summer so kids are all about the ice cream, but if you’re looking for something a bit healthier, try this recipe for Strawberry Vegan Ice Cream.
With only three ingredients, this “nice cream” is filled with real fruit and takes only 5 minutes to make. Serve it as is, or add some yummy toppings and you have the perfect summertime treat.
9. MINI BROCCOLI QUESADILLAS
When it comes to getting kids to eat vegetables and try new foods, it’s all about the serving size.
Instead of overwhelming your kids with an entire plate—or even an entire serving—stick with small portions and finger foods.
With these Mini Broccoli Quesadillas, it couldn’t be easier. These triangle-shaped quesadillas call for just 3 ingredients and have 3 easy steps—making them one of the best kids cooking recipes you can serve any time of day.
10. HEALTHY CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD
If you’re looking for a sweet, moist and fudgy bread, try this recipe for
Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread.
Not only is this bread bursting with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and filling fiber, but adding zucchini is a great way to show kids there are so many ways to incorporate veggies into meals.
The best part—this bread only takes 10 minutes to prep and doesn’t require any kitchen appliances except your oven.
11. FLATBREAD PIZZA
Pizza is always a win with kids, and this recipe for Flatbread Pizza is a great way to bring kids in the kitchen.
These individual flatbread pizzas are so easy, only take 5 minutes (or 2 minutes if you microwave them), and can be personalized with different types of vegetables.