Who says that only adults can turn into master chefs while in quarantine? Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, it makes total sense to invite kids to watch and help out too. Not only will this be a bonding experience, but it could also be a chance for them to learn simple kitchen skills and use their creativity. As with every activity, this will require some planning and preparation on your part (such as online grocery shopping and pre-slicing the ingredients) before asking the kids to join you. Now that you have the time, do try making some of these recipes together and introducing a few kitchen tasks and lessons on nutrition!
1 small head of cauliflower
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or mozzarella)
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/3 cup pizza sauce
Toppings of choice
To prepare the crusts, pulse cauliflower in a food processor and heat in the microwave for 7 minutes. Once cooled, mix in the cheese, eggs, and herbs until combined. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Use a ring mold or manually mold the crust into balls and then pat them down. Bake the crusts for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Prepare the pizza sauce and pizza toppings in separate bowls. Toppings can be mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, bell peppers, olives, fresh basil, mushrooms, Italian sausage, or anything else the family would like.
What Kids Can Do: Ask the kids to place their preferred toppings on their pizza crusts and bake them in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and toppings are roasted).
1 cup frozen berries of choice
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Fruits of choice for the toppings
Throw all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and mix until smooth. You may have to scrape down the sides of the blender in between, as the consistency is quite thick. Spoon the smoothie into two bowls. Slice the fresh fruits you’ve chosen for your toppings. Keep in mind any designs you are trying to create, such as a rainbow or an owl, so you slice the fruit into the appropriate shapes.
What Kids Can Do: Kids can design their smoothie bowls as desired.
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
Fine sea salt, to taste
Slice sweet potatoes into long strips about 1/4 inch wide. Try to keep the fries uniform in size for even cooking. Soak the fries in a large bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Once the fries are drained, blot them dry, and then drizzle with olive oil.
What Kids Can Do: Guide kids to measure and whisk together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. They can also sprinkle the mixture on the fries and place them spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Be sure none of the fries are overlapping, and then bake for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway. Once fries are crispy, cool on a cooling rack, and sprinkle with as much, or little, sea salt as desired. You can also try this recipe with carrots instead of sweet potatoes!
1/3 cup apple puree/apple sauce
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
If you will be making apple puree from scratch, peel the apples and remove core. Chop the apples into chunks and add them to a saucepan with a dash of cinnamon and a little water to help them steam. Simmer the apples for 15 minutes or until they are tender and start to break up. Puree the apples in a food processor or blender.
What Kids Can Do: Kids can measure and mix all the ingredients together in one bowl.
Pour mixture into a Mason jar or desired serving container, and then chill in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. You can also add maple syrup for a little more sweetness or double up the recipe for another serving.
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. peanut butter
1/3 cup desiccated coconut (+ extra for coating)
What Kids Can Do: This is a recipe kids can follow from start to finish. Measure and add oats, blueberries, and peanut butter to the food processor and mix until combined. Stir in the desiccated coconut. Form the thick paste into balls and roll in more desiccated coconut. One recipe can make around 14 balls and can be enjoyed immediately. Other tasty variants of energy balls include peanut butter banana, chocolate almond, and raspberry coconut.
1 cup raisins
2 cups water
1 tbsp. active drive yeast
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup milk
2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
Place raisins in a small bowl with a cup of warm water. Leave raisins to plump for at least 10 minutes. To prepare the dough, pour a cup of room temperature water into the bowl of a standing mixer and sprinkle yeast over the water. Give it about 10 minutes to foam before stirring to fully dissolve. Melt butter in the microwave and stir in the milk, melted butter, and salt into the water. Add flour in batches and mix to form the dough.
What Kids Can Do: Kids can try to knead the dough by hand or finish kneading using the mixer. Add the raisins with a few tablespoons of flour to the dough and knead until evenly distributed. Cover and leave the dough to rise in a warm area for about one hour.
In two separate bowls, combine sugar and cinnamon in one bowl and the eggs and two tablespoons of water in another (egg wash). Divide the dough into two pieces and roll them out on the counter. Dough should be narrower than the bread pan and as long as you can make it. Brush entire surface of the dough with egg wash, leaving about two inches clear at the top. Sprinkle the dough with half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture, and then roll up the dough and pinch to seal the top. Transfer to your loaf pan, repeat with the other half of the dough, and leave dough to rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove loaves from the pans and allow them to cool completely.
2 fresh pineapple or 7 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup milk
1 tbsp honey
Freeze the cut-up fresh pineapple or pre-cut pineapple chunks overnight.
What Kids Can Do: Ask the kids to drop the frozen pineapple, milk, and honey in a blender or food processor.
Blend until a thick sorbet consistency is achieved. You can either serve this as pineapple whip, similar to the popular treat from Disney parks, or spoon the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid. You can try this with almost any other other fruit combinations–another crowd favorite is blueberry yogurt swirl popsicles!
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3 medium ripe bananas, sliced
2 cups grated carrots (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Measure and add the oats, bananas, carrots, maple syrup, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to a food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture is combined well.
What Kids Can Do: Ask the kids to line muffin trays with muffin liners or spray non-stick cooking spray on the trays. They can also scoop the mixture into the trays and sprinkle some rolled oats no top of each muffin.
Each muffin tray is baked for 24 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and dry.
- Amy Whiteford, Cauliflower Base Mini Pizzas, November 2019
- Cara Reed, Smoothie Bowls Kids Will Love, July 2017
- Ali Martin, The Best Baked Sweet Potato Fries, August 2018
- Stacey Kemeys, Apple Pie Chia Pudding, May 2020
- Amy Whiteford, Blueberry Breakfast Balls, July 2019
- Natalie Monson, Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- Sally McKenney, Blueberry Yogurt Swirl Popsicles, June 2015
- Melanie, Dole Whip Pineapple Popsicle Recipe, April 2019
- Nikki Dinki, Banana Carrot Oat Muffins, December 2018