The past few weeks have been a time of transition for parents all over the globe. We are now being tasked with being remote employees, homeschoolers, chefs, housekeepers, and the list goes on. Since we are stuck at home with our darling children, now is a great time to connect with them and keep them fed! Put those busy hands to work and have them help in the kitchen. Cooking at home with kids may sound stressful to some, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of tasks that they can help with, and give your littles a sense of accomplishment. A win for everyone involved!
Easy Breakfast Recipes
The great thing about pancakes is you can make them from scratch with a few simple ingredients, or you can use the box varieties that are now made to satisfy most food allergies. Hello, gluten-free box mix! Depending on your kiddos age(s) you can have them help by measuring out the pancake mix, water, and other ingredients if needed. For the littlest helpers, just have them help stir the mix.
Additional fun things to add to your pancakes:
- Chocolate chips
- Food coloring
- Fun cut-out shapes
- Chia seeds
- Hemp hearts
There are so many ways to prepare overnight oats and they're a great way to get your kids in the kitchen. Plus, this recipe is something you can prep a few days ahead and easily grab in the morning, even before that first cup of caffeine hits your system. Another great thing about making your own overnight oats is that each person can customize their oats to their liking!
Items you can mix-in:
- Milk (cow, oat, almond, soy, etc.)
- Berries (fresh, frozen, or dried)
- Chia seeds
- Hemp hearts
- Peanut butter
- Shredded coconut
- Syrup (maple, agave, honey, etc.)
Easy Lunch/Dinner Recipes
Chili is a dish we make frequently at our house, because it’s easy, everyone enjoys it, and my little helper has a blast pouring all the ingredients into the crock pot. I enjoy this dish because it doesn’t take much time to prep, and after tossing everything into the crock pot I can forget about it until supper. Like all the recipes listed this one is easy to customize to your own dietary needs. If you're vegetarian or vegan, just omit the meat, or replace with a meat alternative.
- Soy/Plant-based “meat”
- Sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- Shredded cheese
- Corn chips
Who doesn’t like spaghetti? It’s quick, easy, and delicious. Like all these recipes you can alter it to fit your dietary needs. Want to switch up the traditional spaghetti noodles? There are several great options that you can test out. Change up your traditional beef meatballs by using ground chicken, turkey, or a meatless variety. I personally love to make chicken meatballs and load them with veggies that my kiddo typically won’t eat, so that they're hidden! I’ll take that #MomWin.
- Zucchini noodles “zoodles”
- Spaghetti squash noodles
- Shirataki noodles
- Tofu noodles
- Gluten-free noodles
Tacos are one of those foods that have nearly endless possibilities and always seem to turn out delicious! This is a great dish to get help prepping from cooking the meat, to chopping of the veggies, or shredding of the cheese. Have fun with this dish and get everyone involved! Serve them with traditional corn or flour tortillas, or opt for a healthier option and make taco salad boats using lettuce (iceberg, romaine or butter leaf).
- Fish (grilled or fried)
- Chicken (grilled, slow cooked, rotisserie, etc.)
- Beef (ground, shredded or grilled)
- Pork (shredded or grilled)
Looking for something on the lighter side? Grab all your favorite salad fixings and have a build-your-own-salad-bar night at home. You could even use leftover taco meat and toppings (assuming you have any) for your salad bar. Let your creativity shine and include a few playful and unexpected options, like, strawberries (pairs great with spinach), watermelon, pickled veggies or bacon. Creating a salad bar is also a great way to use up leftover produce and boost your immune system.
- Lettuce (iceberg, arugula, kale, spinach, romaine, etc.)
- Salad blend mix
Veggies/Fruits:Opt for seasonal vegetables for the freshest options
Proteins:Add your favorite protein option (meat, meatless, beans, legumes)
Grains/Beans:Top your salad with some fun textures (beans, pasta, rice, quinoa, orzo, etc.)
Flavorful Additions :
- Fresh herbs
These are just a few ideas to get you started and get your kids introduced to cooking with you, if they aren’t already. If cooking is out of our comfort zone, start small with simple recipes that have a handful of ingredients and instructions. This is not a time to be overwhelmed by what to feed our families. Worst case scenario (or best) there is always cereal!
Below are a few of my favorite food blogs you can check out for a little additional inspiration to help you and the kids in the kitchen!