The benefits of cooking with children extends beyond the actual cooking skills. Kids learn the process of following steps in order and improve their math skills through the measurements. Choosing easy recipes allows the kids to do the majority of the work for preparing the dish. Adult supervision is always important, even for simple recipes, due to the potential for injury in the kitchen.
A fruit salad is a recipe simple enough for even young children. Ask the kids for input on the fruits to include in the salad. Ideas include watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, bananas, apples and cherries. Let the kids wash the fruit and help peel them if possible. Soft fruits such as bananas and strawberries allow the kids to handle the cutting with a dull knife. Have an adult cut the harder fruits to avoid injuries with the knife. Let the kids pour the fruit into the bowl and stir it carefully.
As an alternative, use bamboo skewers and let the kids make fruit kabobs. Slide the pieces onto the skewers and serve them with a yogurt dip on the side.
This sweet treat uses a giant marshmallow as the base. Help the children press a sucker stick into the marshmallow without pressing it completely through it. Melt chocolate or almond bark according to the package directions. Show the kids how to dip the marshmallows into the melted chocolate. Press small candies and sprinkles into the chocolate before it sets. Place the covered marshmallows on a piece of wax paper to dry.
Use tortillas as the base for simple snack wraps that don’t require cooking. Wraps are a versatile snack allowing you to customize the fillings to meet the taste preferences of the child. Start by letting your child spread refried beans, hummus or cream cheese over the surface of the tortilla. Provide sliced vegetables such as peppers, onions, black olives and lettuce. Offer meat options such as pepperoni, ham, turkey or shredded chicken. Shredded cheese rounds out the toppings on the snack wrap. Roll up the tortilla to keep all of the toppings inside. The kids can eat the wrap whole or you can slice it up for bite-sized pieces.