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32 Easy Recipes for Kids to Try Cooking

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 1, 2020 12:00:00 PM

General Education

 

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Cooking is a skill everyone should have, and kids can begin learning the basics at a young age. Doing so can make them more self-sufficient and more likely to make healthier meal decisions throughout their lives. But it's important to choose recipes that match their skill levels, which is where we come in. We've compiled a list of 32 easy recipes for kids, in six categories: breakfast, smoothies, snacks, dinner, vegetarian, and baking.

For each of these cooking recipes for kids, we include a link to the recipe, a brief description of it, the estimated time to make the recipe, and the difficulty level (easy, medium, or advanced). The difficulty levels are based on kids' cooking skills, and even the advanced recipes are doable for children if they have adult help. Let's get cooking!

 

Tips for Cooking With Kids

Cooking with kids has the potential to be messy and headache-inducing, but it doesn't have to be! We have the list of easy recipes for kids below, and here are our top three tips to make these cooking recipes for kids more enjoyable for everyone.

 

#1: Get Their Input

If kids see cooking as something they have a say in, rather than a chore they're being told to do, it's much more likely they'll take a genuine interest in cooking and enjoy it. Ask their opinion on which recipes they want to cook, which steps they want to help with, etc. Doing so will make cooking more enjoyable for everyone.

 

#2: Plan Ahead

The best way to make cooking with children easier is to have a game plan well before cooking starts. Read through the whole recipe to make sure it's manageable and you have the ingredients. Then, do all the prep first before you begin working through the rest of the recipe. These are great habits for kids to get into early as they make cooking much less stressful for chefs of all ages.

 

#3: Aim for Fun, Not Perfection

Temper yours  (and your kids') expectations before cooking. While there's every possibility that the food you make turns out delicious, it's also possible it comes out bland, burnt, unappealing, etc. Explain to kids that even professional chefs make dishes they're unhappy with. The point isn't to put restaurant-quality food on the table, it's to have fun and keep learning from mistakes so that kids continue to build cooking skills over their lives.

 

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Easy Breakfast Recipes for Kids

Start the day right with these breakfast recipes, ranging from grab-and-go foods to dishes perfect for a family brunch.

 

Crunchy Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast for dinner is always popular with kids, but what about tacos for breakfast? Instead of ground meat, these breakfast tacos use scrambled eggs and traditional taco seasonings to create a filling breakfast.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 45 minutes

 

Breakfast Popsicles

You don't need to wait until dessert to have popsicles! These breakfast popsicles are made with just yogurt and fresh fruit, creating a healthy and easy breakfast, perfect for hot days.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 10 minutes (plus freezing time)

 

Easy Crepes

Despite seeming like something only French chefs can whip up, crepes are actually easy to make! They're just a step up from pancakes. Once you have a stack of paper-thin crepes ready, you can fill them with whatever you like, from eggs to vegetables to cream cheese and fruit

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 50 minutes

 

English Muffin Egg Pizzas

English muffin pizzas are a kid cooking classic, but this recipe steps it up a notch by adding hard-boiled eggs. The end result? An easy to make, protein-filled breakfast.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes

 

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

A step up from regular homemade pancakes (and far better than boxed mixes), these cinnamon roll pancakes combine two favorite breakfast foods in one. Kids will love creating the cinnamon swirl on the pancakes. Add the cream cheese glaze to take things over the top.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 35 minutes

 

Bell Pepper Eggs

These eggs in pepper cups are a great, yet easy, way to make eggs a little more exciting for breakfast. Kids will love cracking the eggs into the peppers. Not to mention, keeping the eggs contained in the peppers prevents them from getting all over the pan. 

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 25 minutes

 

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Easy Smoothie Recipes for Kids

Smoothies are great, easy recipes for kids just starting out with cooking. No ovens or stoves are required, just some chopping and blending. You'll have a healthy treat in minutes!

 

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

With just three ingredients, these strawberry banana smoothies are a great way for budding chefs to get the hang of cooking. Once they're done, they'll be able to enjoy a healthy smoothie as their reward!

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 10 minutes

 

Blueberry Muffin Green Smoothie

This sweet smoothie has a secret ingredient: spinach! Baby spinach leaves have a mild enough flavor that kids won't taste them in this smoothie; they'll just get the sweet taste of the fruit! A smoothie that gives a healthy dose of veggies but still tastes like a blueberry muffin? That's a win-win!

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 10 minutes

 

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

These orange creamsicle smoothies taste like the popsicles everyone knows and loves, but they're healthy enough for breakfast or as a fruit-filled snack. 

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 10 minutes

 

Just Peachy Smoothie

This fruit-filled smoothie is a delicious taste of summer, and you can substitute frozen fruit for fresh to enjoy even when peaches aren't in season.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 10 minutes

 

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Easy Snack Recipes for Kids

There's no need for kids to reach for a bag of chips after coming home from school or a sports game. They can whip up one of these easy recipes for a healthy snack whenever they want.

 

No-Bake Peanut Butter Treats

These tasty, protein-filled snacks are a great way to get kids, even younger ones, excited about cooking. Mix up the ingredients, then have the kids roll them into balls. That's it!

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 10 minutes

 

Cookie Cutter Fruit Salad

Fresh fruit + cookies cutters = this fun salad. Feel free to customize the recipe with whatever fruit you have on hand. You can also tailor this recipe to different holidays by using themed cookie cutters.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 15 minutes

 

Celery Snails and Caterpillars

Are these the cutest way to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables? We think so! This recipe turns celery, peanut butter, and sliced fruits and veggies into adorable, edible insects.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 15 minutes

 

Banana Sushi

While traditional sushi may not be the most kid-friendly of foods, this banana sushi is both tasty and easy for kids to make. After you have the sushi "base" of bananas and peanut butter/chocolate, kids can add whatever toppings they like, including shredded coconut, cereal, and sprinkles! Chopsticks optional.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Estimated Time: 15 minutes

 

Extra Smooth Hummus

Hummus and veggies make a great, healthy snack, and this hummus is smoother than anything you're able to buy in the store. Kids will love squeezing chickpeas out of their skins.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes

 

Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups

Not only are these homemade fruit roll-ups healthier than the store-bought version kids love, they require only three ingredients! Whip up a batch, cook it in the oven for several hours, then have kids help roll them up!

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 10 minutes + 4 hours baking

 

Double-Berry Quick Bread

This easy bread requires no yeast, bread maker, or fancy ingredients, but it's tasty enough to turn all kids into bakers. Substitute whichever berries you have on hand.

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

 

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Easy Dinner Recipes for Kids

These tasty, filling dinner recipes are all easy enough for beginner chefs to make.

 

Rice Paper Wraps

Kids will love rolling their own wraps, and they're a great way to get some vegetables for dinner. Best of all, each child can customize what goes into her/his own wrap so everyone enjoys the meal.

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 25 minutes

 

Sheet Pan Hawaiian Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the types of seafood children are most willing to eat, and this sweet and tangy dish will win over many new fans. Sheet pan dinners are easy to cook and easy to clean up afterward, so everyone wins with this dish.

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 35 Minutes

 

Easy Turkey Chili

This turkey chili is super simple, but super filling, and the spices can be adjusted to kids' tastes. Turkey makes it a bit healthier, but you're free to substitute other ground meat if you prefer.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

 

Oven-Fried Chicken

Fried food can be messy to both make and eat, plus even adults can splatter themselves with burning grease. This oven-fried chicken gives all the crunch and flavor of fried chicken, but is easy enough for kids to make. It's healthier too!

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

 

Taco Cheeseburgers

Trying to settle a debate over whether to have tacos or burgers for dinner? This recipe makes everyone happy! Burger patties (plus the toppings of your choice) are placed in a tortilla rather than a bun, and the recipe is simple enough that kids can do the assembly themselves.

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes

 

Alphabet Pizza

This kids' recipe does double duty: it helps kids build up both their cooking and ABC skills. Get some alphabet cookie cutters and have kids spell out their names, favorite words, etc. as they make these tasty mini pizzas.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 40 minutes

 

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Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Kids

Have a vegetarian in the house? Taking part in Meatless Mondays? These vegetarian recipes are for you!

 

Baked Tofu Tenders

Some kids dislike tofu because of its slimy texture, but baking it makes tofu crispy and delicious. Serve with the sauce of your choice to add extra flavor to this vegetarian favorite.

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

 

Salad in a Jar

What's one way to get kids excited about salads? Have kids make their own in a jar, then shake the jars like crazy when you're ready to eat them! Kids can customize the ingredients they want in their salad, and the jarred salads can be stored in the fridge for several days.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 25 minutes

 

One-Pot Pasta With Broccoli and Lemon

This tasty pasta dish is both easy to make--with only one pot--and easy to clean up! It makes a great weeknight dinner and includes a healthy dose of green veggies.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 25 minutes

 

Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi and Veggies

This meal is fancy enough to serve when the grandparents come over, but still simple enough for kids to make! It's made of kid-approved ingredients like gnocchi and roasted vegetables (which can be customized for picky palates).

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 25 minutes

 

Kids' Favorite Grilled Cheese

Every kid should learn how to make a grilled cheese. This recipe is simple but delicious, and even novice chefs can whip it up in no time!

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 15 minutes

 

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Easy Baking Recipes for Kids

For anyone with a sweet tooth, try out these easy dessert recipes for kids to make.

 

Earth Day Cookies

These adorable cookies look like little Earths, and they're the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day or an outer space-themed party. Use packaged sugar dough to keep things extra easy, or make your own from scratch. We particularly like this recipe.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 35 minutes

 

Sorting Hat Cupcakes

Have a Harry Potter fan in the house? These easy-to-make cupcakes have a surprise inside! Take a bite to see which color is in the middle of the cupcake, and learn which Hogwarts house you've been sorted into!

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

 

Cake Pops

Cake pops are a trendy dessert at the moment, and why not? They're cute, fun to make, and kids can decorate them just the way they want.

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

 

3 Ingredient Nutella Brownies

A delicious dessert really doesn't get easier than this. Mix the three ingredients up, spread them in a pan, bake, and you have a tray full of fudgy brownies!

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Estimated Time: 40 minutes

 

Summary: Easy Recipes for Kids

When selecting cooking recipes for kids, you want to make sure to choose something they're both excited to eat but able to make. The recipes we've collected are designed to please a wide variety of palates and meet different cooking levels for kids. Use the easy baking recipes for kids for birthdays, have them whip up some snacks when their friends come over, or even ask them to contribute a weekly meal to the dinner rotation!

 

What's Next?

You don't need to limit your experimenting to the kitchen! We've compiled the 37 coolest science experiments for kids into one article. You're sure to find something exciting to do!

Need a mood booster? We're here to help! Check out our 119 favorite jokes for a guaranteed laugh.

Want to get kids writing? We have 57 writing prompts of all types to get those creative juices flowing.

Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.



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