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Family Health

Kitchen Education: 10 Healthy, Easy Recipes for Kids

Inviting your children into the kitchen is a great way to introduce them to new foods while instilling healthy eating habits they can carry with them throughout their lives. But how do you get your kids started when they're likely a bit intimidated by the prospect of cooking?

After a basic discussion of kitchen safety, trying out some easy recipes for kids is the best way to get your little ones in the kitchen. Here are some pointers and recipe ideas to help you get started.

Setting Ground Rules

Before inviting your kids into the kitchen to cook with you, go over some basic ground rules of kitchen safety. A few of the key concepts to go over include:

  • Knife safety. Knives are the essential kitchen tool, but they can also be a hazard. Be sure to first educate your kids about the dangers of knives, then show them how to use a knife safely. Let them start by prepping with a plastic knife or a butter knife until they have the technique down.
  • Stove and oven safety. Your kids need to be cautious around the stove and the oven. Teach them how to use oven mitts, and show them the signs on your particular stove setup that indicate that the burners are on or still hot.
  • Washing hands and produce. Teach your children that washing both their hands and all produce will help stop the spread of bacteria, which can potentially make us sick.

Easy Recipes for Kids

Once you have the basics established, your kids are ready to start cooking! Here are some great recipes to get your children comfortable in the kitchen:

  1. Pizzas. Whether it be on sliced eggplant, zucchini, English muffins, or fresh pizza dough, you can easily enjoy the prep and assembly of this classic dish with your kids.

  2. Cheesy roasted veggies. What better way to have your kids try a new veggie than by having them prep and roast it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss it with some Parmesan cheese fresh out of the oven?

  3. Baked chicken bites. From crushing the cornflakes to shaking the chicken and breading together, your kids will love being part of creating this healthy twist on fried chicken.

  4. Chips and guacamole. Have your little ones help prepare their after-school snack by mashing avocados for a delicious, nutrient-rich guacamole with tortilla chips.

  5. Breakfast parfaits. Set up a parfait station for your children to make their own breakfast creation in the morning.

  6. Fruit pops. By using either fruit juice, blended fruit, or even fruit pieces, you and your child can be excited about this healthy take on an after-dinner go-to.

  7. Chocolate-dipped fruit. Kids love activities that are hands-on; have them wash, dry, and then dip fresh fruit into chocolate.

  8. Festive smoothies. Let your kids' imaginations run wild by experimenting with different smoothie combinations for a fun breakfast or snack.

  9. "Banana caterpillars." Use pretzels, peanut butter, chocolate chips, nuts, and dried fruit to help your kids create a fun, healthy snack.

  10. Sandwich sushi. Whether you use a wrap or regular bread, your kids will have a blast rolling up their sandwich full of veggies into this fun take on sushi.

Whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack time, you can utilize the help of in-home sous chefs by getting your kids involved in the kitchen. Getting them involved will help save you some time, in addition to providing an opportunity for some bonding time, teaching your children about food, and sparking excitement about cooking and healthy eating. These nutritious and easy recipes for kids are the perfect place to start the journey.

Posted in Family Health

Christina Manian is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Originally from the Boston area, she attended Boston University where she majored in nutritional sciences with a concentration in dietetics. She recently completed her nutrition education at the Mayo Clinic with a focus on medical nutrition therapy. While her background has mostly been in the clinical setting, Christina embraces wellness nutrition as the backbone of optimum health. She is excited to be able to educate a larger audience about nutrition through the written word.

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*This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute health care advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or physician before making health care decisions.