Cooking with Kids: 3 Easy Recipes

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In our house, we love food! I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where fresh produce and seafood were abundant and my dad worked in the food industry, to top it off. I have a deep appreciation for food. My dad and grandma taught me to cook and my mom taught me to can. I remember one summer my mom, sisters and I picked raspberries ($1 a pound!) and juicy softball sized peaches from our neighbor’s orchard; made jam and canned peaches. My uncle was a fishermen in Alaska and we traded our canned goods for fresh caught salmon- it was a win-win for everyone! Now that I have kids of my own, I try to teach them to appreciate food: the nutritional value, and to not take it for granted.

Now honestly, cooking with kids is overrated. In your mind’s eye, cooking with kids is glamorous. Like a ‘50’s poster where the mom is dressed to the T, the kitchen is clean and everyone is all smiles and joy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and baking with my kids and they enjoy it, but it usually consists of me in yoga pants and t-shirt, flour on the floor, stuff everywhere  and my kids commandeering the kitchen utensils for weapons. No glamour here, just some messy fun!

So in honor of no fuss, honest food fun here are three of my kids’ favorite meals they enjoy making and eating!

Mini Chicken Sandwiches. photo by Rebekah Rae
Mini Chicken Sandwiches. photo by Rebekah Rae

Mini chicken sandwiches
(1 serving)

As a parent I try to make my kids’ food appealing and even CUTE with mini versions like these:

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken nuggets (we like Foster Farms, no added hormones and preservatives)
  • 2 hamburger or hotdog buns ( we like whole wheat Wheat Montana, no HFC or other additives)
  • 2″ circle cookie cutter
  • Dipping sauce of choice i.e. Ranch, BBQ or ketchup

Directions:

  1. With buns, use cookie cutter to cut out 4 little “buns”- Can let the kids do this part.

NOTE: be sure to give the cutter a good press & twist to cut through

  1. Heat nuggets

NOTE: Depending on how many servings you are making you can heat chicken nuggets in oven or microwave

  1. Let your kids assemble- they’re almost too cute to eat!
Getting creative with a PB & J. photo by Rebekah Rae
Getting creative with a PB & J. photo by Rebekah Rae

“Doughnut” PBJ sandwiches
(1 serving)

My daughter helped think up little gem when she was playing with a friend. “Mom, we are pretending we are going out to breakfast, we need some fun breakfast food”. Me, uhh….I wracked my brain, something fun? BAM- “Doughnut” PB & J

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread (we are fans of Wheat Montana’s whole wheat bread, no HFC or other additives)
  • Peanut Butter (we like Kirkland Signature all natural- just blended peanuts)
  • Jam (we like Kirkland Signature brand, low sugar and no HFC)
  • 3-4″ cookie cutter
  • 1-2″ cookie cutter

Directions:

  • Spread PB & J on the bread and assemble as usual
  • Cut sandwich with cookie cutters in shape of doughnut

Enjoy!

Homemade Pizza. photo by Rebekah Rae
Homemade Pizza. photo by Rebekah Rae

Fleischmann’s Homemade Pizzas

If you’re like me, if dinner hasn’t been thought about earlier in the day, it is usually ends up being something fast and easy. This recipe is fast (no need to let rise) and my kids love choosing their toppings and helping put it together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4- 2 1/4 cups flour (we like Wheat Montana’a all-purpose unbleached)
  • 1 envelope Fleischmann’s pizza yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Desired toppings (My kids chose pulled pork, BBQ sauce, pepperchinis and a few pickles)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.
  3. Pat dough with floured hands to fill greased pizza pan or baking sheet. OR roll dough on a floured counter to 12-inch circle; place in greased pizza pan or baking sheet.  Form a rim by pinching the edge of the dough.
  4. Spread with pizza sauce. Top with desired toppings and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.
  6. Recipe Note: Use crust to make one thick crust 9-inch pizza. Increase baking time to 20 minutes.

Now get into the kitchen, make a mess, and teach your kids the joy of cooking!

About the authorRebekah is a dance teacher, mother of 2 and creative soul. She enjoys cooking, baking and creating with fabric and paper.

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