Getting your kids in the kitchen can be a pleasure and sometimes a challenge. That said, children are more likely to be willing to eat food if they’ve helped make it themselves. Maybe you have a picky eater or you’re trying some new foods at home. If your child’s involved in the food-making process, they can take ownership and show pride in having the family try their creation. Here are some tasty things you can help your kids make in the kitchen.
1. Smoothies: These are easy to make because they don’t require any cooking skills. You and your child can add the ingredients together. You may want to do some sample tasting to see what the smoothie’s like before serving it up, and you can think about experimenting with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s hard to go too wrong with a smoothie, so creativity with ingredients is welcome.
2. Pumpkin Pancakes with Berries: Bring out the measuring cups. Your child will get practice pouring, measuring and mixing. This non-traditional twist on a pancake will also open up creativity with ingredients and taste buds. You can also try out new pancake shapes when cooking. Have your child taste the berries in their natural form and then see what happens when you add them to the hot pan.
3. Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs: Molding meatballs is messy and fun. Spaghetti squash is also an incredibly fun experience. After the squash has been cooked and cooled, help your child scoop out the seeds. Then, probe the flesh with a fork to see how it separates into spaghetti-like strands.
4. Celery and Peanut Butter: This is a classic children’s snack. Add raisins, and the treat now becomes “Ants on a Log.” You can switch things up by trying different types of nut butters. Choose a nut butter with ingredients that only list nuts or seeds. Avoid added fats, sugars or salts.
5. Apples and Peanut Butter: Provide your child with a sliced apple and let him or her choose the nut butter. Sprinkle cinnamon or apple pie spice over the apple slices to add a new dimension of flavor.
6. Hummus: There are lots of fun options for this food project. Try changing the flavor and color of the hummus with lemon juice and turmeric for a brighter yellow. Red bell peppers add sweet taste and a reddish hue. Get creative with your child and take the opportunity to experiment. Set up a taste-testing session with the rest of the family to determine what flavors work best.
7. Chia Seed Pudding: Chia seeds are a nutrition star. They’re high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. And they’re also a little weird: They absorb liquid, become slimy and form a gel. This makes them the perfect food experiment for your child. Add a half cup of milk or soy milk to a small bowl with 2 tbsp of chia seeds. Vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg can be added for flavor. The pudding usually sets after about four hours in the fridge, but you and your child will be able to see some transformation after 15 minutes. Top with fruit and enjoy.