Cooking projects don’t need to leave your kitchen in a dusting of flour. Here are a few recipes we love to make with kids, no matter the time of year.
Anything involving dough rising is usually a surefire hit with kids, particularly when they turn out as delightful as these cinnamon rolls. Think about it: You’re teaching patience! The reward for both of you is a home perfumed with cinnamon and buttery, yeasty dough. You get a happy child and a home that smells like a pastry shop. Win-win.
Maybe the most amazing thing about apple butter is that it doesn’t contain any actual dairy butter. That means once you make it, the glorious stuff is shelf-stable for a year in a cool, dark place. This is an excellent way to pack produce into your child, as the recipe comprises apples, apple cider, lemon, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. That’s it. No preservatives.
Not much beats watching an ice cream maker spin while making homemade ice cream. It doesn’t matter what flavor it is; vanilla can set little hearts aflutter. DIY sprinkles, toppings and candies. Even dried fruit can be fun; empty the pantry!
No rolling pin. No cutting. Not even any stamping out shapes. These chocolate crinkle cookies are a delight because they just require a dip in powdered sugar after you roll them by hand. (And we’d argue they tend to turn out delightfully even with a little bit of kid-induced chaos.) Check out how simple!
“Pizza party!” In most houses, the exclamation tends to elicit joy. So make pizza. Watching the dough rise over time delights even the most nap-deficient, cranky child. Using a pizza palette is also a wise way to introduce younger eaters to new ingredients, or shoehorn vegetables into older ones. (We are not above blitzing veggies into our sauces!)
At first blush it may sound like we want you to Jackson Pollock your kitchen. But we don’t; we’re just suggesting smoothies. Make them fancy or simply defrost frozen fruit in your microwave the morning you need it. Blitz that up, then scoop in yogurt. We love making our smoothies in high-powered blenders, sure, but a mini food processor can go into the dishwasher. Tots can perch on countertops and press buttons to make the whole spin. Be sure to incorporate lots of chances to “taste-test.”
Call it a “treat” and watch it sail through the toddler’s is-it-edible? test. Fruit and nut bars have precisely the right texture to lure fussy eaters. Get them involved in their creation and it’s almost a surefire win. Allow kids to press these five-star bars into a pan (make sure the batter has cooled just enough!) before they go into the fridge. Or try these puffed quinoa bars studded with cherries, which are a treat, indeed.
There’s something about pancakes that says “you’re special.” Check out these Disney pancake molds for an example of what will make your kid flip. And our pancake pen is just fantastic for allowing you to draw, then fill in the probably unrecognizable animal friends your kid loves. (“Unicorn Rainbow” and “Panda Friend,” we’re looking at you!) Older kids can flex their creative muscles and make butterflies, robots, and whatever their heart desires.
If you don’t have nori wrappers just lying around, you are not alone on that one. But sushi is amazing, and when fresh, even better. And it’s honestly not that hard; that’s why we made a whole kit devoted to making it simpler. All our kits are designed with your ease of life in mind, in fact.