Getting young children interested in healthy eating is no easy task! When compared to junk food or sugary snacks, fruits and vegetables aren’t very attractive choices to kids. But, healthy cooking activities for kids are a wonderful way to interest your little ones in healthy eating and bring some fun experiential learning into your kitchen.
Involving kids in preparing meals, grocery shopping, and even planning meals helps them to understand what goes into buying, planning, and prepping the meals they’re eating. Giving your child a voice in what they eat and a peek into what goes into a meal, allows you to encourage healthy eating choices and is the perfect opportunity to share the importance of healthy eating with your child.
The Budding Chef, by Kate Kuhn¸ is full of easy cooking activities for kids that will have your children interested in where their food comes from and how to make it, in no time!
Here are some easy recipes and cooking activities you can try with your children today.
Makes 1 Serving
Allow your child to take matters into his own hands with this simple yet hearty breakfast. With delicious protein from sunny-side up eggs, this recipe will put a smile on the toast and on your child’s face.
- 1 egg*
- Bread slice
- Butter (optional)
- Sausage link
*Safety Note: Eggs that are not thoroughly cooked may pose a health risk. Cooking eggs to a temperature of at least 160°F destroys bacteria such as Salmonella. Sunny-side up and over-easy eggs often do not reach this temperature.
- Frying pan
- Plastic knife
What to Do:
- Cook the sausage links on the stove for 10-15 minutes on medium heat (adult only). Flip them occasionally to ensure they are cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat.
- Help your child crack an egg into a bowl and transfer the egg from the bowl to a frying pan. Place the frying pan onto the stove (adult only) and set it to medium heat.
- As the egg cooks sunny side up, allow the sausage to cool and then cut the link into small slices.
- Have your child put a slice of bread into the toaster and toast it lightly.
- If you wish to use butter, give your child a plastic knife and encourage him to spread butter on the toast.
- Now it’s time to assemble the smiley eggs! Take the piece of toast and put the sunny-side-up egg on the toast to create a smile.
- Add two slice sausage pieces to the bread to create eyes. Say good morning to your smiley face and then dig in!
Pita Pocket Chicken Salad
Makes 2-4 Servings
Turn lunch into a healthy, hands-on activity. Pita offers a healthier choice than white bread, and the chicken salad gives your child much-needed protein to keep him going throughout the day.
- 2 cups cubed chicken
- ¾ cup sliced celery
- 1 tablespoon minced onions
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Baby carrots
- Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Lettuce, shredded
- Pita pockets
- Mixing bowl and spoon
- Small bowls
What to Do:
- Mix the chicken, mayonnaise, celery, lemon juice, and onion together until your child approves of the taste.
- Place the tomatoes and lettuce in separate bowls.
- Encourage your child to fill the pita pockets with his choice of ingredients.
- Serve the pita sandwich with baby carrots and dip.
A favorite among many children, applesauce can be paired with a main course for dinner or served as a snack to add a healthy and mouth-watering dish to your child’s diet.
- 4 apples
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Apple corer
- Apple stickers (optional)
- Mason jar
- Plastic knife
- Vegetable peeler
What to Do:
- Help your child spread newspaper over the work table.
- Give your child a jar to hold the applesauce when it’s ready. She can decorate the jar with apple stickers.
- Allow your child to help you peel, core, and slice the apples into pieces. This is a challenging task- talk about the right way to use a peeler, show your child how to push the apple through the corer safely, and be sure to do the bulk of the slicing yourself. Your child can use a plastic knife to further chop what you’ve sliced.
- Combine the chopped apples, corn syrup, lemon juice, sugar, and salt into a blender.
- Help your child blend the ingredients until smooth.
- Transfer the applesauce to the mason jar and refrigerate.
- Enjoy your own homemade applesauce or give it to someone special as a gift!