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“New” Cooking Up Fun: Engaging Ways to Spend Quality Time with Kids in the Kitchen

“New” Cooking Up Fun: Engaging Ways to Spend Quality Time with Kids in the Kitchen

Sharing a meal is a wonderful way to celebrate being together as a family. Getting kids of all ages involved in preparing recipes gets them excited about learning cooking skills and trying new foods. In this article, you’ll find delicious recipes that kids of all ages can help with!

Here are some general tips:

  • Safety first! Always start with clean hands, clean tools and a clean workspace. Be sure to assist younger children with tasks involving sharp objects or heat. 
  • Read the recipe twice before you start cooking so you understand all the steps. 
  • Gather all the tools you will need, like spoons, bowls, and measuring cups. 
  • Check that you have all the ingredients that you need, or find a substitution. 
  • Wash fruits and vegetables, even if you will peel them. 
  • Wash your hands, counter and tools carefully after touching meat, chicken, eggs or fish. 
  • Use clean, dry oven mitts when using the oven.
  • Make sure pot handles are turned away from the front of the stove when cooking.

Breakfast Fruit Cup

This simple and tasty recipe is a great way to get the littlest kids involved. Children as young as two can wash the fruits, scoop the yogurt, peel and chop the banana with a plastic or butter knife, and sprinkle raisins and cinnamon. 

Rise and Shine Muffins
rise and shine muffins
This easy breakfast is a great way to get elementary-age kids involved! Let them toast the english muffin, then help them practice safe knife skills when slicing the egg and tomato: 

  • Have an adult work with the child
  • Use a cutting board
  • Choose a knife that is an appropriate size for the child’s hand
  • Hold the knife handle firmly with one hand, then hold the item you are cutting in the other hand, making a “claw” shape, curling the fingertips under. 
  • Cut straight down, not toward yourself or another person.

Have an adult help with the broiler step of the recipe and enjoy a simple, hot meal to start off your day!

Sheet Pan Mini Meatloaves and Vegetables
sheet pan mini meatloaves and vegetables
This fun recipe can get kids of all ages in the kitchen. Have older kids with some knife skills help with chopping veggies and ask younger kids to help measure, add ingredients, and mix. Remember to rinse the tops of cans (if using) and have an adult help with the oven. 

For more tasty recipes to try with the whole family, check out AZ Health Zone’s recipe library.

Sources: Cooking Tips for Kids (CalFresh), We Can! Parent Tips: Getting Kids in the Kitchen (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health)