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Teach Kids Math, Nutrition & Flavor in the Kitchen!

Are you looking for ways to engage your kids in the kitchen while also teaching them valuable life skills? Look no further! Cooking with your children can be an enjoyable and educational experience for the whole family. Not only does it provide an opportunity to bond, but it also allows you to incorporate math, nutrition, and flavor exploration into your culinary adventures.

Why Cook with Kids?

Mom and child baking together.
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Cooking is an essential life skill that everyone should learn, and what better way to instill this skill in your children than by involving them in the kitchen from a young age? Not only does cooking with kids promote family bonding, but it also teaches them important lessons about nutrition, food safety, and creativity. Plus, it’s a fun activity that can ignite a lifelong passion for cooking and healthy eating.

Talk About Culture & Cuisines

Grandmother, mother and child cooking.
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Cooking with children is a perfect time to talking about your own family culture, with recipes handed down. It is also an opportunity to talk about the cuisines of the world.

The Benefits of Cooking with Kids

Happy kid cooking.
Image credit Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock.

Cooking together can be a fantastic way to explore new recipes and ingredients while ensuring everyone’s wants and needs are met. If any of you are following a particular diet, such as low-fat vegetarian or low FODMAP (for IBS), that can be challenging to navigate, but by involving your kids in the cooking process, you can empower them to make healthier food choices and develop a positive relationship with food.

Be Age & Skill Appropriate

Mom and child cutting vegetables.
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Use your good sense. Very young children should not use knives, but once they are old enough to have the dexterity, they can be supervised and taught this skill. The youngest can still participate, stirring with wooden spoons, drizzling dressings, tossing salads and the like.

Getting Started: Kid-Friendly Recipes

Mom cooking with toddler.
Image credit Alena Ozerova via Shutterstock.

Ready to get cooking? Even toddlers can get involved! Here are 24 kid-friendly recipes that are perfect for bringing the whole family together in the kitchen:

Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

low-FODMAP-Instant-Pot-Chicken-Noodle-Soup-in-a-white-bowl-on-an-aqua-placemat-with-a-water-glass.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Fire up your instant pot for near instant gratification with this version of a home spun classic: chicken noodle soup. Get the recipe.

Italian Meatball Marinara Subs

Italian_Meatball_Marinara_Subs.jpg.
Photo credit: xoxobella.

Meatballs and sauce nestled into a roll make a fun and hardy meal that the kids will enjoy helping to make. Those little hands are perfect for rolling the meatballs. Get the recipe.

One-Pan Chicken, Carrots & Potatoes

Maple-Mustard-Chicken-Cooked.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

 A simple and delicious meal that kids can help prepare by whisking together the maple mustard sauce and assisting with food safety practices. Get the recipe.

Turkey Meatballs

FODY-Pasta-Sauce-Turkey-Meatballs-on-spaghetti-in-a-white-bowl.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Kids will love getting their hands dirty mixing and shaping these flavorful, but lighter, meatballs, while also learning about portion control and cooking techniques. Get the recipe.

The Best One Pot Taco Macaroni And Cheese

The_BEST_One_Pot_Taco_Macaroni_and_Cheese.jpg.
Photo credit: xoxobella.

Mac & cheese with taco flavors brings the best of many worlds into not only one recipe, but it’s made in one pot! A perfect conversation starter to talk about blending cuisines. Get the recipe.

Everyday Meatloaf

meatloaf-cross-section.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

This nutritious twist on a classic comfort food is perfect for teaching kids about incorporating vegetables into meals and pronunciation (hello, Worcestershire sauce!). Get the recipe.

Potato Chip Crusted Air-Fryer Fish Sticks

overhead-air-fryer-low-FODMAP-fish-sticks-on-marbled-background-and-brown-plate.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

An alternative to store-bought fish sticks, this recipe lets kids get creative by crushing potato chips for the crunchy coating. Get the recipe.

Viral TikTok One Pot French Onion Pasta

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Photo credit: Food Plus Words. 

We love this recipe for so many reasons. First of all, kids will get a kick out of the fact that you suggest making a recipe that’s gone viral on social media. Secondly, it’s a great opportunity to talk about how cooking techniques can transform food. A lot of kids say they don’t like onions, but after slow cooking they become caramelized and sweet, and they will be amazed. And learn something at the same time. Get the recipe.

Vegetable, Pasta & Bean Soup

overhead-of-Low-FODMAP-Vegetable-Pasta-Bean-Soup-with-ingredients.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

A hearty and versatile soup that provides ample opportunities for kids to learn about different vegetables and cooking methods. Get the recipe.

Leafy Green Salad

Little girls gardening.
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Teach kids the basics of salad making while exploring different types of greens and salad dressings. If you have the ability to plant vegetables or visit a farm, that can be incorporated as well. No recipe here, just use your creativity!

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic-vinaigrette-in-small-carafe-with-spout.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Empower kids to make their own salad dressing from scratch with this simple and delicious recipe. Get the recipe.

Ranch Dressing

Low-FODMAP-Ranch-Dressing-in-clear-glass-pitcher-green-salad-in-background.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Move over, store-bought dressing! Kids will love making their own creamy ranch dressing using fresh herbs – and our version happens to be lactose-free!  Get the recipe.

Fruit Salad

Adult making fruit salad with little girl.
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Encourage healthy snacking habits by involving kids in the preparation of colorful and nutritious fruit salads. Your choice!

Omelets

low-FODMAP-BLT-omelet-with-blue-cheese-and-gluten-free-English-muffins-on-white-plate-against-aqua-background.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

A versatile and customizable dish that’s perfect for teaching kids basic cooking skills like whisking eggs and monitoring heat. Get the recipe.

Oven-Baked French Fries

oven-fries-with-potatoes-in-background.
Image credit Dédé Wilson.

We have nothing against a good deep-fried French fry, but once you try our version of oven baked, you might never go back. No need to use copious amounts of oil or make the house smell like a fast food joint. Talking points can include discussing different types of potatoes, and why you want russet-style for this recipe. Get the recipe.

Gluten-Free Pizza

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Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Let kids unleash their creativity by topping their own personal pizzas while learning about yeast and gluten-free baking. For a fantastic collection of gluten-free Pizza recipes visit our sister site FODMAP Everyday®.

Banana Bread

reduced-sugar-banana-bread-on-blue-and-white-platter.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

This lower-fat and lower-sugar version of a classic favorite is a great way to teach kids about fruit ripeness and baking techniques. Get the recipe.

Gluten-Free One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Low-FODMAP-One-Bowl-Chocolate-Chunk-Cookies-closeup.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Kids will love making these easy cookies while learning about measuring ingredients and oven safety. Get the recipe.

Gluten-Free One-Bowl Brownies

close-overhead-image-of-low-FODMAP-One-Bowl-Brownies-piled-on-black-plate-fresh-flowers-in-background.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Teach kids the art of baking with this streamlined brownie recipe, complete with lessons on cocoa varieties. Get the recipe.

5-Minute Honey Butter Skillet Granola

Low-FODMAP-Skillet-Honey-Butter-Granola-in-glass-bowl-on-silver-platter.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

A quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for teaching kids about portioning and snack preparation. Get the recipe.

Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Sheet Pan Pancakes

Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Kids and adults get a kick out of the idea that you can make one large pancake on a sheet pan. Kids can learn how to create lemon zest, and you can discuss the differences between pure maple syrup (which we highly recommend) and pancake syrup. Get the recipe.

Chocolate Covered Banana Popsicles

manicured-hand-holding-a-Low-FODMAP-Chocolate-Covered-Banana-Popsicle.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Beat the heat with these refreshing and nutritious frozen treats that kids can help assemble. Get the recipe.

Trail Mix Energy Balls

closeup-side-view-of-low-FODMAP-Trail-Mix-Energy-Balls-in-clear-glass-dish.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

A satisfying and portable snack that’s ideal for teaching kids about portion control and ingredient selection. Get the recipe.

happy-birthday-cookie.
Photo credit: Dédé Wilson from FODMAP Everyday®.

Celebrate special occasions with a giant cookie that kids can help decorate and personalize. Get the recipe.

Author

  • Dede Wilson

    Dédé Wilson is a journalist with over 17 cookbooks to her name and is the co-founder and managing partner of the digital media partnership Shift Works Partners LLC, currently publishing through two online media brands, FODMAP Everyday® and The Queen Zone.

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