Getting the whole family involved in mealtime preparations might mean cooking is a little slower and messier than usual, but the benefits of having some tiny sous-chefs in the kitchen more than makes up for it!
Not only is cooking an essential life skill that your children need to know, but it can also improve their school performance and has even been shown to reduce the likelihood of kids getting involved in substance abuse in later life. It also helps improve confidence and can be a valuable bonding experience.
If you’d love to start cooking with the family but aren’t sure where to begin, we’ve found some of the best family-friendly recipes for you to try. Check out this guide from Momables to help you establish some age-appropriate kitchen tasks and check out these tips for making your kitchen kid friendly before you begin!
Sloppy Joe Sliders
What could be better than yummy, child-sized food? Kids love making this kid friendly recipe and they love eating it too! This is a great one for the whole family!
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup Ketchup
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup frozen crinkle-cut baby carrots
- ½ cup frozen baby corn
- 8 potato slider buns or 12 mini potato dinner rolls
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly shredded
- 1 cup lettuce, thinly shredded
- ¼ cup dill pickle chips
- Prep your cooking by heating the oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add ground beef and cook until it starts to brown (approximately 4 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Add chili powder and 1 tsp salt and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Drain off any excess liquid, except 2 tbsp, which should stay in the beef mixture (you could drain the whole lot and re-add).
- Reduce heat to low and add ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and ½ cup of water, stirring as you go.
- Bring to a simmer and leave to thicken (approximately 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Add the carrots and corn and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender and heated through.
- Spoon the sloppy joe meat onto 1 half of each of the slider buns, then top with a handful of shredded cabbage and pickles.
Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Give your kids a little culture with this fun to prepare kid friendly recipe!
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, cored and diced
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 3lbs chicken, cut into pieces
- 1lb potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- Place potatoes in water and leave to one side.
- Place onions, carrots, tomatoes, and garlic along the bottom of your tagine dish (look for a tagine like this one: https://unocasa.com/products/tagine-pot)
- Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and season with the spices, then sprinkle over the chopped fresh parsley.
- Pour over olive oil and roughly 1 cup water.
- Place the lid on your tagine pot and cook on medium heat for approximately 1 hour, until the chicken is tender and has an internal temperature of 165’.
- Drain the potatoes and place them on top of the chicken in the tagine, forming a circle.
- Replace the lid and cook until the potatoes have softened (approximately 20 minutes)
- Add peas and cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes.
- Serve in the tagine pot with couscous or rice.
Pesto Chicken Pizza
This is another one of my favorite kid friendly recipes that everyone loves. You can make these pizzas with pita breads, French bread or baguettes, or even Udi’s gluten free pizza crusts if your child has a food allergy. No matter what you make your pizza with, your child will LOVE preparing their own pizza!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” pieces
- Pita bread or a loaf of French bread or baguette (buy it from the store or get really creative in the kitchen with homemade French bread)
- 1/3 cup basil pesto
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved and divided
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- fresh basil for garnish
Extras for serving (optional)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Parmesan cheese shavings
- Pre-heat oven to 400’F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Heat the oil over medium temperature in a large frying pan.
- Add chicken and 2 large pinches of salt and cook until the chicken starts to turn golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Take chicken off the heat and place to one side.
- If using pita breads, make your pizza as usual. If using French Bread, cut the baguette in half lengthwise and place them cut-side-up on a baking sheet.
- Spread pesto on the bread slices. Top with half the tomatoes and half the cooked chicken.
- Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella before topping with the remaining tomatoes and chicken.
- Bake until bread is heated through and crispy on the outside, and the cheese has melted (approximately 10 minutes).
- Cut each half into two pieces for serving and add a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan shavings if desired.