20 Easy Meals Kids Can Make: Fun and Simple Recipes for Little Chefs

Cooking can be a fun and educational activity for kids. It allows them to develop important life skills while spending quality time with family. In this article we're going to show you 20 easy meals kids can make.

To make the learning process more exciting and manageable, providing easy, kid-friendly meal recipes is essential. Creating meals gives children a sense of accomplishment and encourages healthy eating habits.

Children cooking simple meals with colorful ingredients and easy-to-use kitchen tools in a bright, organized kitchen setting

Many recipes require simple steps and ingredients, making them suitable for children of various ages. These meals are specially designed to be safe, healthy, and enjoyable for young chefs to prepare. You may say some of these are actually snacks. That's fair, but remember, kids are making these. So obviously it's not going to be anything too complex.

By exploring these recipes, parents can find accessible and engaging ways to involve their kids in the kitchen.

1) English Muffin Pizza

Kids can make tasty English Muffin Pizzas with ease.

Begin by splitting an English muffin in half. Toast the halves in a toaster until lightly crisp.

Spread pizza sauce on each muffin half. Add enough to cover but not so much that it drips. Kids can use about 1-2 tablespoons.

Then, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Add a few slices of pepperoni or any preferred toppings.

Place the muffin halves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the cheese to ensure it melts perfectly and the edges become golden.

Let the pizzas cool slightly before eating. They can enjoy a fun, delicious meal with minimal effort.

2) Ants on a Log

Ants on a Log is a fun and nutritious meal that kids can easily prepare with minimal supervision. It involves a few simple ingredients that children often enjoy. This classic dish combines celery, peanut butter, and raisins arranged creatively.

Begin by washing the celery thoroughly and trimming the ends.

If the celery sticks are too wide, a paring knife can be used to cut them horizontally. Slice the celery into segments about 4-5 inches long for easy handling.

Using a small spatula or butter knife, spread peanut butter along the celery groove. Make sure to fill it generously, creating a slight mound if preferred. This can be a fun part for children as they practice their spreading skills.

Once the peanut butter is in place, top it with raisins, spacing them out along the length of the celery. The raisins represent the "ants" on the "log," making it enjoyable for kids to see and eat.

For variations, different spreads such as cream cheese or hummus can be used. Toppings can also vary to include dried cranberries, beans, or even goldfish crackers, adding creativity to the dish.

Alternatives to celery can include cucumber slices, carrot sticks, or even apple wedges. This allows kids to customize their Ants on a Log according to their taste preferences. With a bit of imagination, they can create a variety of these fun and healthy meals.

3) Mini Pancake Kabobs

Mini Pancake Kabobs are an easy and fun meal that kids can enjoy making and eating. These skewers combine small pancakes with colorful fruits, making breakfast both delicious and visually appealing.

To start, prepare the pancake batter according to the instructions on the package.

Pour small amounts of batter onto a hot greased griddle, aiming for a size of about 1.5 inches in diameter. Cook each mini pancake until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges turn golden brown, usually about one to two minutes per side.

Once the pancakes are ready, it’s time to assemble the kabobs.

Use cocktail sticks or small skewers and start with a mini pancake.

Alternate between pancakes and assorted fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and banana slices.

For an extra treat, consider adding a spread like Nutella or peanut butter to each pancake before skewering.

This meal is not only tasty but also allows kids to practice basic cooking skills, like flipping pancakes and threading ingredients onto skewers. Plus, it’s versatile, letting them mix and match fruits and spreads to their liking. Serve with a side of yogurt or a drizzle of syrup.

4) Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich

Kids can make a Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich easily! They need peanut butter, bananas, and bread. Choose two slices of bread to begin.

Spread peanut butter generously on each slice.

Slice a banana into thin rounds. Arrange the banana slices on one piece of bread.

Place the second piece of bread on top with the peanut butter facing down. Press gently to stick the sandwich together.

For a warm twist, butter the outside of the bread and grill it for a few minutes on each side.

This simple, tasty sandwich is perfect for lunch or a wholesome meal.

5) Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits are a delightful and nutritious meal that kids can easily make themselves. This meal combines creamy yogurt, fresh fruits, and a crunchy topping for a tasty treat.

Start by letting the kids choose their favorite fruits. Berries, kiwi, and bananas are excellent options.

In a small bowl or jar, add a layer of yogurt. Next, top the yogurt with a handful of chopped fruits.

Add another layer of yogurt, followed by more fruit. Kids can alternate these layers to make their parfait look colorful and appealing.

To finish, sprinkle a crunchy topping on the final yogurt layer. Granola, nuts, or seeds work well for this.

Kids can drizzle honey or maple syrup over the top to add some extra sweetness if they like.

Using a kid-safe knife, older kids can chop the fruits themselves, making them feel more involved in the process.

This meal is both fun to make and highly nutritious, offering protein, vitamins, and healthy fats.

6) Turkey and Cheese Roll-Up

Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups are perfect for kids who want to try their hand at making a tasty meal. These roll-ups are simple to prepare and are a great introduction to kitchen basics.

To start, gather flour tortillas, turkey slices, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, green onions, and lettuce. Ensure the cream cheese is softened for easy spreading.

Begin with laying one tortilla flat on a cutting board. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese over the entire tortilla using a butter knife.

Sprinkle finely chopped green onions on the cream cheese for added flavor.

Next, place 2-3 slices of turkey evenly over the cream cheese layer. Add slices of cheddar cheese on top of the turkey.

Lay a few pieces of lettuce over the cheese, aligning them down the center of the tortilla. This will add a nice crunch to the roll-up.

Carefully roll the tortilla tightly, starting from the edge closest to the fillings.

Once rolled, use a serrated knife to cut the roll into small pinwheel pieces. This makes them easy to eat and perfect for small hands to handle.

Arrange the Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups on a plate. They can be enjoyed immediately or stored in the refrigerator for a quick and easy meal later.

7) Veggie Wraps

Colorful array of fresh vegetables and tortillas laid out on a clean kitchen counter, with bowls of hummus and guacamole nearby

Veggie wraps are a fantastic and easy meal that kids can make on their own. They offer a healthy combination of fresh vegetables and tasty spreads.

Start with a large tortilla. Spread a layer of hummus, cream cheese, or yogurt-based ranch dressing on the tortilla, leaving a small border.

Next, prepare the vegetables.

Kids can grate carrots, thinly slice tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. Leafy greens like spinach or lettuce are great additions too.

Lay the veggies in a row in the center of the tortilla. Kids can sprinkle a bit of shredded cheddar cheese for some extra flavor if they like.

To wrap it up, fold the sides of the tortilla over the fillings, then roll it up tightly from the bottom. Make sure the wrap stays together.

Veggie wraps can be paired with a side of fruit, cheese, or even a simple smoothie. They are perfect for lunch or a light dinner and can be made with whatever veggies are on hand.

8) Quesadilla

A quesadilla is a simple, quick meal that kids can easily make.

Start by placing a flour tortilla on a cutting board. Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly over one half of the tortilla.

If desired, add pre-cooked chicken, beans, or veggies on top of the cheese. Fold the tortilla over to form a half-moon shape.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and place the folded tortilla in the pan.

Cook for about 2-5 minutes until the bottom is browned and the cheese starts melting.

Using a spatula, carefully flip the quesadilla. Cook for another 2-5 minutes until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is fully melted.

Remove the quesadilla from the pan and let it cool slightly.

Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut it into triangles.

Serve with salsa or guacamole for a delicious dip.

This easy dish is perfect for lunch or a quick dinner and allows for endless filling combinations to suit any preference.

9) Apple Sandwiches

A table with ingredients: bread, apples, peanut butter, and honey. A knife spreads peanut butter on bread, while apple slices are arranged on top

Apple sandwiches make a fun and nutritious meal that's easy for kids to assemble.

Start by selecting a couple of fresh apples. Core the apples using an apple corer, then slice them horizontally into round discs. Aim for slices about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Next, lay the apple slices flat on a plate.

Then, spread a generous layer of peanut butter or almond butter on each slice. For a twist, try using sunflower seed butter or cream cheese.

Once the spread is added, sprinkle some granola, raisins, or shredded coconut on top. These toppings add a nice crunch and extra flavor.

To complete the sandwich, place another apple slice on top of the filling and gently press them together. Repeat this process for the remaining slices.

For added variety, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or chia seeds on the apple slices. This meal can be customized with different toppings according to taste.

10) Bagel with Cream Cheese and Veggies

A bagel with cream cheese and veggies sits on a plate, surrounded by colorful and fresh ingredients. The setting is bright and inviting, with a sense of ease and simplicity

Bagels with cream cheese and veggies are a great meal that kids can easily make themselves. They’re nutritious and can be customized with their favorite vegetables.

To start, kids should gather a plain bagel, cream cheese, and a variety of veggies. Popular choices include carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers.

First, slice the bagel in half and toast it to a golden brown.

While it’s toasting, chop the vegetables into small, bite-sized pieces.

Once the bagel is toasted, spread a generous layer of cream cheese on each half. This acts as a tasty base to hold the veggies in place.

Next, sprinkle the chopped vegetables evenly over the cream cheese. Kids can have fun arranging the veggies in patterns or even creating smiley faces.

For added flavor, a pinch of salt or pepper can be sprinkled over the top. This enhances the taste without being too overwhelming.

Serving the bagel with a side of fruit or a glass of milk makes it a complete meal. This meal is perfect for any time of day and ensures that children are eating healthy food they’ve made themselves.

11) Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers make a simple yet satisfying meal that kids can easily prepare. They can choose a variety of cheeses and add their favorite crackers.

Start by gathering cheese options such as cheddar, mozzarella, or Swiss. Kids can cut the cheese into small slices or cubes.

Next, select an assortment of crackers. Whole grain, wheat, or even cheesy flavored crackers work great.

Encourage kids to mix and match different cheese and cracker combinations. They can also add extras like deli meats, or sliced veggies for more variety.

Use a plate to arrange the cheeses and crackers neatly. This also makes it easier to share if needed.

Serve with a small bowl of fruits like grapes or apple slices for a balanced meal. This adds a touch of sweetness and nutrition to the plate.

Cheese and crackers are not only quick to make but also offer a fun way for kids to experiment with flavors. Perfect for lunch or a light dinner.

12) Frozen Yogurt Bark

A colorful array of frozen yogurt bark arranged on a tray, surrounded by various toppings and fruit slices

Frozen Yogurt Bark is a fun and delicious meal that kids can easily create. Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spread yogurt in a thin layer across the baking sheet.

Allow kids to choose their favorite toppings to sprinkle over the yogurt. Options might include fresh berries, granola, or nuts. You can also drizzle with honey or peanut butter for added flavor.

Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least three hours until the yogurt is firm.

Once frozen, peel the parchment paper or foil off the back and break the bark into chunks.

Store the frozen yogurt bark in a freezer-safe bag, and enjoy it as a refreshing meal. This is a great way for kids to have fun and be creative in the kitchen.

13) Microwave Scrambled Eggs

Microwave Scrambled Eggs are perfect for kids learning to cook. This simple, quick recipe requires just a few ingredients and minimal supervision.

Begin by cracking two eggs into a microwave-safe bowl. Add a splash of milk, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. Whisk the mixture well with a fork until fully combined.

Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds.

Carefully remove the bowl (it may be hot!) and give the eggs a good stir, scraping down the sides.

Return the bowl to the microwave and cook for another 30 seconds.

Stir again, ensuring the eggs cook evenly. Repeat this process until the eggs are mostly set and slightly fluffy.

Microwave Scrambled Eggs can be served as is, or topped with cheese, salsa, or herbs. They make a great meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

14) Smoothie Popsicles

Smoothie popsicles are a fun and refreshing meal kids can make with ease. They are perfect for warm days and a great way to sneak in some extra fruits and veggies.

To start, gather ingredients like bananas, orange juice, and your choice of frozen fruits such as mango or pineapple chunks. You can also add greens like baby spinach for an extra nutritional boost.

Kids should place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. It’s important to blend well to ensure the mixture is creamy and free of lumps.

Next, pour the smoothie mixture into popsicle molds. If you don’t have molds, paper cups or muffin tins work just as well. Insert wooden sticks or spoons into each mold.

Set the popsicles in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once frozen, they can be enjoyed as a cold, fruity meal perfect for hot weather.

15) Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels are a fun and simple meal that kids can easily make. The ingredients are straightforward, and the steps are easy to follow.

First, gather tortillas, sliced ham, cheese, and any desired veggies such as lettuce or tomatoes. The kids can mix cream cheese with a bit of mustard to create a tasty spread.

Lay the tortilla flat and spread the cream cheese mixture evenly. Then, layer slices of ham and cheese on top. Add a few veggies for extra crunch and nutrition.

Starting at one edge, roll the tortilla tightly to form a wrap. This step is perfect for kids to practice their fine motor skills.

Once rolled, use a serrated knife to slice the wrap into 1-inch thick pinwheels. For younger children, an adult might need to help with this step.

These pinwheels can be eaten cold, making them perfect for a quick lunch or picnic. Kids can also store them in the fridge to grab later for a tasty meal.

16) Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber sandwiches are a refreshing meal that kids can easily make by themselves. They start by combining cream cheese with lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Then, they use a spatula to spread this mixture evenly onto slices of bread.

Next, they can use a mandolin or a sharp knife to slice cucumbers as thin as possible. Layer these cucumber slices neatly on the cream cheese-topped bread slices. Place another slice of bread on top to complete the sandwich.

Kids can enhance the flavor by adding chopped dill or chives into the cream cheese mixture. This adds a fresh and aromatic touch to the sandwiches. For a fun twist, they can cut the sandwiches into triangles or other fun shapes.

These cucumber sandwiches are not only tasty but also a healthy meal option that kids can prepare quickly. They are perfect for lunch or a light dinner and require minimal cooking skills.

17) Tortilla Chips and Guacamole

Making Tortilla Chips and Guacamole is a fun and easy meal for kids. They can start by preheating the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, they need to cut flour tortillas into triangle shapes.

Place the tortilla pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spray both sides with cooking spray and sprinkle a bit of salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes until crispy.

While the chips are baking, prepare the guacamole.

Kids can scoop out the flesh of ripe avocados into a bowl. Add a squeeze of lime juice to keep it fresh and prevent browning.

Mash the avocados with a fork until they reach the desired consistency. Mix in a pinch of salt and any other favorite ingredients like diced tomatoes or minced garlic.

Once the tortilla chips are done baking, let them cool for a few minutes.

Serve the homemade chips with the fresh guacamole. This meal is perfect for a light lunch or even a simple dinner.

18) Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Bites

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Bites are a fun and simple meal kids can make.

Start by cutting the tops off cherry tomatoes and hollowing out the insides using a small, sharp knife.

Place a mozzarella pearl inside each tomato.

Chop fresh basil and sprinkle a little into each tomato for added flavor.

Arrange the stuffed tomatoes on a serving dish.

When ready to serve, sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar to complete the dish.

These bites create a tasty, kid-friendly meal that is both fun to make and delicious to eat.

19) Granola Bars

Granola bars are a fun and easy meal that kids can make themselves.

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and preparing an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix oats, almonds, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

Take a small bowl and combine honey, nut butter, and melted butter until smooth.

Add the honey mixture to the oat mixture and stir until everything is well coated.

Kids can press this mix firmly into the prepared baking dish.

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the granola is golden brown.

After baking, allow the granola to cool completely before cutting into bars.

This simple recipe yields delicious, chewy granola bars that kids can enjoy for breakfast or a quick lunch.

20) Veggie Sticks with Hummus

Kids can have fun making veggie sticks with hummus. It’s an easy meal that’s perfect for lunch or a light dinner.

To start, gather a variety of vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and celery.

Clean the veggies thoroughly, then slice them into sticks. This can be done using a knife or a vegetable peeler, depending on the child’s skill level.

Next, they can prepare the hummus.

Place drained and rinsed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, ground cumin, salt, and pepper into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

If the hummus is too thick, add a bit of water or chickpea liquid. Drizzle in more olive oil gradually to get a creamy texture.

Arrange the veggie sticks on a plate and add a generous scoop of hummus.

This colorful and healthy meal can be customized with different vegetables or even some pita bread.

Serving this with veggie sticks, hummus makes a delicious and nutritious meal kids will love and be proud to create!

Benefits of Cooking with Kids

Cooking with kids fosters essential life skills and promotes healthy eating habits, making it a beneficial activity beyond just preparing meals.

Developing Life Skills

Cooking teaches children valuable life skills such as measuring ingredients, following instructions, and managing time. These skills are crucial for their overall development and future independence.

Children learn to handle kitchen tools safely and understand basic cooking techniques.

These experiences build confidence and self-reliance.

Cooking also enhances their math abilities as they measure, count, and follow proportions, bridging practical applications with academic concepts.

Involving kids in meal preparation encourages teamwork and cooperation. They learn to share responsibilities, communicate effectively, and work together towards a common goal.

Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits

When kids participate in cooking, they become more interested in what they eat.

They are likely to try new foods and develop a preference for healthier choices.

Preparing meals allows children to learn about nutrition.

They understand the importance of balanced diets, fresh ingredients, and portion control.

Kids can customize their meals, making them more inclined to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

This hands-on experience promotes a positive relationship with food.

Cooking together provides opportunities to discuss the benefits of whole foods over processed ones.

Kids comprehend the impact of food on their health, fostering lifelong healthy eating habits.

Essential Kitchen Safety Tips

When kids are learning to cook, safety is the top priority. Key areas like knife safety and handling hot surfaces are crucial to prevent accidents and ensure a fun experience.

Basic Knife Safety

Teaching kids how to use knives safely is vital.

Start with age-appropriate knives, like plastic or butter knives, before moving to sharper tools. Always supervise closely.

Show them how to hold the knife with a firm grip, keeping fingers away from the blade.

Cutting away from the body and using a stable cutting board also reduces risk.

Encourage wearing cut-resistant gloves for added protection.

Remind them to store knives safely in a block or drawer with a childproof latch and never leave them lying around.

Handling Hot Surfaces

Educating children on handling hot surfaces can prevent burns.

Remind them to use oven mitts or potholders when touching anything hot.

Teach them to turn pot handles inward to avoid accidental spills.

They should also be careful around steam, which can cause burns just as easily as hot surfaces.

Use the back burners when possible, and always keep a watchful eye when kids are near the stove. These practices help maintain a safe and enjoyable cooking environment.

Simple Cooking Techniques for Kids

Teaching kids simple cooking techniques can make the process enjoyable and educational. They will learn key skills like measuring ingredients accurately and mixing or stirring efficiently.

Measuring Ingredients

Accurately measuring ingredients is crucial for successful recipes.

Kids should be familiar with different measuring tools such as measuring cups, spoons, and a kitchen scale.

First, explain the difference between liquid and dry measuring cups.

Liquid measuring cups usually come with a spout and are excellent for items like water or milk.

Dry measuring cups are meant for ingredients like flour or sugar and should be leveled off with a knife or spatula for accuracy.

When using measuring spoons, remind kids always to level off dry ingredients to ensure they're using the correct amount.

A kitchen scale can be introduced for more precise measurements, emphasizing its importance in baking, where accuracy is key.

Mixing and Stirring

Effective mixing and stirring methods can make a significant difference in the final meal's texture and taste.

Kids should start with easy techniques like folding, whisking, and stirring.

Folding incorporates heavier ingredients into lighter ones, such as adding flour to a batter without deflating it.

Whisking is perfect for mixing liquids like eggs and for aerating ingredients to create a light, fluffy texture.

Stirring combines ingredients evenly, whether they're dry or wet.

Teach them to use appropriate kitchen tools like wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, and whisks.

Explain terms like "until combined" or "until smooth" to give them a clear idea of the desired endpoint.

Encouraging proper form and consistent practices ensures that young chefs build a strong foundation in cooking fundamentals.

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