Cooking with Kids Using Simple Spring Recipes
Winter gets all the attention when it comes to whipping up food with your kids. Perhaps it’s the chilly weather that keeps us inside, or perhaps it’s the Christmas season where homemade confections reign supreme.
Either way, you don’t need to limit your family-friendly cooking to the year’s coldest months. Instead, open up your kitchen this spring — maybe on one of the rainy days that keep you inside — and start teaching your kids how to make everything from snacks to sweets.
Need help choosing what’s on the menu? Here are six easy recipes that you and your kids will love to prepare and eat together.
- Family Fajitas
Depending on how old your kiddos are, they can help you chop some of the fresh fruits and vegetables — peppers, tomatoes, apples and roasted peppers — and mash up guacamole. You’ll have to marinate and prepare the meat and send the salsa through the food processor. The end result? Everyone will love filling tortillas with all of the yummy toppings you prep together, no matter how old or young they are.
- Mini Turkey Burgers
Here’s another spring BBQ-ready recipe for you and the kids to whip up on Memorial Day weekend and beyond. Again, the tougher task of handling meat will fall onto the adult, but your kids can easily chip into the process, which includes adding seasonings to the bowl and ripping lettuce leaves into smaller, more easily edible portions.
Much like the fajitas, everyone will be happy to dress their own burger in the end. You can further customize this recipe with your family’s favorite type of burger, whether it be turkey, chicken, beef or another type of protein.
- Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread cookies are some of the easiest to make, and you probably have most of the required ingredients on hand: butter, flour, sugar, salt and water. There’s no kid out there who will complain about baking cookies with mom or dad one day, either.
On top of that, shortbread is super easy to play with and — you guessed it — customize. The kids will have a blast dipping their cookies into melted chocolate or spooning jam into the middle of two shortbread slices and biting into the resulting sweetness.
- Salad In a Jar
Want to convince your kids to eat more veggies? You might want to try presenting them in a fun, creative way, like the blogger who came up with the above recipe. She says the success of salad in a jar marks the first time her kids have eaten salad as a meal.
To do it, you can work together as a family to chop up ingredients with the grown-ups taking the sharper knives and tougher produce, of course. Set everything out, give everyone a jar and add dressing first so the fruit and veg doesn’t get soggy. Then, layer, shake, dump on a plate and voila: everyone will happily eat their salads.
- No-Bake Snack Bars
Even with an adult supervising, the thought of having young kids around a hot oven can be nerve-racking. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun recipes you can whip up that don’t require any heat.
These snack bars are much more cost-effective to DIY than to buy in your local grocery store, and doing so gives you control over the ingredients used. This recipe uses butter and honey as well as brown sugar for added sweetness. Of course, you can play with the ingredients to make the bars as healthy or indulgent as you want: a wheat cereal base, dark chocolate bits or nuts and seeds would be great swaps to achieve the former.
- Nutella and Raspberry Sandwiches
Finally, nothing screams “spring” like a good family picnic. And, if you decide to take the whole gang to the park on a whim, you’ll have to whip up your menu pretty quickly.
These easy-to-make Nutella sandwiches — seriously, they take 10 minutes or less — will be a sweet surprise for your kids once the picnic kicks off. The sandwich plays tart raspberries against the hazelnut spread’s sweetness, and the combo tastes so amazing your kids might not notice if you sandwich it all between hearty white or wheat bread.
The best news in all of this is that, even on days when you can’t devote time to a kid-centric recipe, you can let your kids help you with a regular grown-up recipe. Not only will you get a little bit of help in the kitchen, but you’ll make memories you and your kiddo won’t soon forget. There’s not much better than that.