Kids love helping their parents in the kitchen, so let them. Cooking with your kids allows you to spend quality time together as you teach them a new skill. It can also jumpstart a lifelong love of cooking and help picky eaters by making mealtime for fun. Here are 4 simple meals your kids will be excited to make with just a little help from you.
Tacos are so easy to personalize to your own tastes. You can add whatever meat or toppings that you prefer. A simple way for kids to make tacos is to first brown a pound of ground beef, then add a packet of taco seasoning. Each kid can build their own taco by adding the beef mixture to a warmed tortilla and topping with lettuce, sour cream, freshly grated cheese, and tomatoes.
French Bread Pizza
Kids will love this twist on classic pizza. Cut a French baguette loaf in half lengthwise and top each half with marinara sauce. Let kids load the bread up with their own favorite pizza toppings. The options are limitless, but a few ideas are mozzarella, pepperoni, mushrooms, bell peppers, pineapple, and black olives. Once all toppings are added, bake baguettes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Pigs in a Blanket
Pigs in a blanket are a long-time favorite that kids love. To make this fun appetizer, you will need a tube of refrigerated crescent rolls, hot dogs, and shredded cheddar cheese. First, cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces. Cut each crescent roll triangle into 3 smaller, narrow triangles. To assemble, sprinkle shredded cheese on each crescent roll triangle. Place a bite-sized hotdog on the shortest side of each triangle, and roll to opposite point. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs is a comforting meal that appeals to kids and adults alike. To make meatballs, mix 1 pound of ground beef with 1/3 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 chopped clove of garlic, and 1 egg. Kids will have fun rolling the mixture into small balls. In a large pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook the meatballs in the oil until browned, then add 1 jar of spaghetti sauce to meatballs and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to boiling and cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Once pasta is tender, serve with a heaping serving of sauce and meatballs. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
If you’re looking for a way to spend more quality time with your kids, consider letting them help you cook a few simple meals. If they’re old enough, help them use the stove and oven safely and how to chop ingredients. If they’re not old enough, have them stir and help measure, explaining the process as you go. They are sure to love both cooking and eating good food, and they will learn a lot in the process.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now writes articles about health, business, family, and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.