Regardless of age or gender, nearly every child loves spending time with you in the kitchen.  Learning new recipes and kitchen skills is a valuable part of growing up and maturing. This bonding time with your child is extremely special; many wonderful memories are made in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, younger children often feel left out and frustrated when excluded from harder recipes and risky kitchen tools.  Although it is necessary at times to keep younger children out of the kitchen for their own safety, this 5 fun and easy recipes are the perfect way to enjoy some safe parent-child cooking time.

Taco Mini Bowls

Bring a fun twist to your “Taco Tuesdays” with these simple fiesta bowls.  This recipe is easy to customize with all your favorite taco fixings.  They are quick to make and easy to store in bulk for busy evenings on the go.  Children love adding all their favorites and learning how to combine ingredients together.  This meal also teaches the importance of planning meals and storing them for later.

Layered Breakfast Parfaits

Breakfast is often a challenging time for families, particularly early school mornings.  Help your child learn to how to plan a healthy breakfast the night before.  These layered breakfast parfaits are fast and fun to prepare the night before.  Younger children will love creating unique breakfast mixtures.  Use a clear cup so they can enjoy the colorful layers. These yogurt cups are travel-safe, making them an easy breakfast to munch in the car without fear of spills.  Depending on your child’s taste, combine any fruit, yogurt, or healthy cereal into a high-protein and fiber-rich morning treat.

Sticky Stacky Sandwiches

Some children get stuck in the traditional sandwich rut for lunch. Give their lunch a unique twist and help them learn the value of preparing their own lunch.  These sandwich skewers are the perfect way to give their lunch a fun look.  The quirky design of these skewers is also a great way to tempt picky eaters into trying new flavors and vegetables.  Creating their own lunchtime skewers is great for teaching independence and also for teaching them the fine motor skills needed for threading objects.  For younger children, create child-proof skewers with popsicle sticks or plastic drinking straws.  They can still enjoy the kabob experience without the danger of potentially poking themselves.

Homemade Family-Style Pizza

Most families enjoy a weekly or monthly pizza and movie night.  Although it’s easy to order a ready-made pizza, taking the time to design and bake one together offers much more fun memories.  It’s also a great way to show children the value of homemade food.  Using a basic homemade pizza dough recipe, allow your children the fun of adding their favorite toppings and ingredients.  To create a completely family-friendly recipe, mark off specific sections on the pizza for everyone; this allows your whole family to enjoy their favorite toppings.

Easter Almond Macaroon Nests

With Easter and Spring just around the corner, we have the perfect time to try some Springtime-specific recipes and desserts.  These cute macaroon birds’ nests are great to celebrate the new life and beginnings of the Spring season.  They’re also great for teaching small hands new motor skills such as rolling dough balls and decorating. These tiny nests are a great choice, whether you’re hosting an Easter brunch or simply enjoying together with your family.

Festive Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows

Marshmallow-dipping is a fast and fun after-dinner dessert option.  Every child enjoys dipping marshmallows! Adding an assortment of sprinkles or other colorful toppings makes it even more adventurous.  This funny dessert is great for unleashing your child’s creativity while still creating a dessert everyone will love.  If you want to create a healthier dessert option, switch out your marshmallows for strawberries, bananas, or other sweet fruits.  Regardless of what you dip, this dessert is great for honing fine motor skills and teaching creativity with ingredients.

Cooking with your child not only creates priceless memories and laughter, but it also gives you the opportunity to teach kitchen responsibility and valuable skills.  Starting your children off early in the kitchen helps them grow the desire to learn and try new things.   Allowing them to learn how to be “little chefs” also may help reduce their pickiness and hesitancy to try certain foods. Whether using one of these recipes or finding your own child-friendly meal plans, allow your child time with you in the kitchen.  You’ll both enjoy the benefits.

 

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