Photo: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Deb Wise

Teach 'em young. 

Corey Williams
September 24, 2018

You walk a fine line when you teach a child to cook. Don’t let them do enough, and they get bored. Leave them to do too much on their own, and something is apt to be burned (be it a hand or a loaf of banana bread).

Instilling a love of cooking in a child is a process—it’s not something you can teach in one lesson.

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It’s important to have fun in the kitchen, especially for young children. Making silly and creative snacks together (like these) can help children learn to appreciate cooking.

Let’s be honest, you’re never too old to enjoy an edible fairy princess wand. But as kids get older, it’s important for them to practice making more practical foods that they can recreate down the road. Cooking for oneself is an underappreciated and underutilized skill.

Now, I’m not saying your 10-year-old needs to master the art of French cooking. But in letting your little ones help prepare foods they actually enjoy, you’re setting them up for future success in the kitchen.

So the next time you have a little bit of extra time to put towards prepping a family meal, consider tag-teaming one of these kid-friendly recipes with your child—you never know what dish may a lasting impression.

Two-Step Macaroni and Cheese

This four-ingredient meal only takes 20 minutes to make.

Pizza Rolls

Use canned crescent roll dough to whip up this easy, after-school snack.

Buttermilk-Dipped Crunchy Chicken Fingers

If your child is too young to understand the importance of food safety, let them take over mixing duties. You can handle the raw chicken yourself.

Individual Pizzas

Give your child control (within reason) over this single-serving dish.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

This classic, family-favorite recipe is short and sweet.

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

Kids will love seeing the squash become “noodles” so much, they’ll completely forget it’s good for them.

Turkey and Swiss Pinwheels

These easily assembled roll ups make the perfect packed lunch, and there’s no actual cooking required.

Cheesy Pigs in Blankets

Kids will love this fun, no-fuss recipe.

Grilled Ham and Cheese Waffle Sandwiches

Skip the Dijon mustard for an even more kid-friendly meal.

Dark Chocolate and Oat Clusters

This simple, four-ingredient recipe is delicious and nutritious.

Flourless Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

An easy, gluten-free option.

Ultimate M&M Cookies

These colorful cookies are as fun to look at as they are to bake.

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