Nutrition Articles

Tips, Tricks and Treats to Teach Kids to Cook

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen? No Such Thing!

Below is a list of fun recipes you and your wee ones can create together. 

Crunchy Healthy Nuggets
(Serves 4)
1 egg
2 T low fat milk
3 1/2 c whole-grain flake cereal
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Little and big chefs: Put the corn flakes in a large freezer bag and crunch, crunch, crunch!

Parent: Cube chicken on a clean cutting board. (Let elementary-school age kids use a knife only under your supervision.)

Little and big chefs: Whisk egg and milk together in a small bowl.

All chefs: Dip chicken chunks in egg mixture, then place in bag with crunched flakes. (Remind kids not to touch their mouths after touching the raw chicken and egg.) Spread coated nuggets on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce.

Pita Pizza Party
(Serves 4)
4 whole wheat pitas
4 T alfredo sauce
4 oz. turkey pepperoni
1/2 c part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 c frozen spinach, thawed, drained (hint: squeeze spinach with old, clean towel to remove most of the moisture!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

All chefs: Lay pitas on a baking pan and coat with alfredo sauce.

All chefs: Add spinach to the top, then sprinkle with cheese.

Parent: Bake for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.

Enjoy! You can try any type of sauce, vegetable, cheese or meat on this fun dish! Little chefs can almost complete this whole meal assembly by themselves with a little guidance.

Nested Eggs
(Serves 2)
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 eggs
1 t margarine
2 low-fat cheese slices
salt and pepper to taste

Parent: Heat a skillet on the stove top.

Little chefs: Use a glass or a cookie cutter to cut a hole in the center of each piece of bread.

Parent: Brown the pieces of bread on one side. Then, melt half the margarine in the center of each hole.

Big chefs: Once melted,
older kids can break an egg into the center of each piece of bread.

Parent: Cover pan and cook until egg is firm.

Big chefs: Cover each egg with a cheese slice. (Let little chefs unwrap the cheese.)

Parent: Once cheese melts, remove from heat and serve.

Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits
(Serves 4)
12 oz low fat yogurt (vanilla works great)
1 c low-fat granola or other cereal
1 c mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c dried fruits
1/2 c canned crushed pineapple
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c chocolate chips

Your little chefs will love assembling these treats.

Parent: Place yogurt plus any combo of the above ingredients into separate bowls, and give each chef a small cup.

All chefs: Spoon layers of goodies into their cups and voila--a parfait!

(They may need a little help spooning the food and hitting the target. Be prepared for a bit of cleanup with this recipe!)

Crunchy Turkey Sticks
(Serves 4)
4 slices of deli turkey
1 stalk celery
4 t mustard
4 t mayonnaise

Little chefs: Stir mustard and mayo together in a bowl.

Parent or big chefs: Cut the celery in half length-wise, then widthwise to make 4 pieces.

(Celery cuts well with a plastic knife, if your child has developed some hand-eye coordination.)

All chefs: Next, lay the turkey slices flat, and spread sauce on each piece.

All chefs: Place the celery stick at one end, and roll it up!

Also, try carrots or cucumber sticks instead of celery. Or, try ham or chicken instead of turkey.

Strawberry Skyscrapers
(Serves 3 or more)
1 tub low-fat strawberry cream cheese, soft
9 sheets low fat graham crackers, broken in half (to equal 18 crackers)
1 c fresh strawberries
1 c fresh banana (1 medium)

Big chefs: Slice the strawberries with a paring knife.

Little chefs: Slice the banana with a plastic knife.

Big chefs: Place the cream cheese in a bowl and stir until smooth.

All chefs: Frost all 18 graham crackers halves with the cream cheese. Top six graham crackers with strawberries, and six graham crackers with bananas.

All chefs: Stack the banana-topped crackers on top of strawberry-topped crackers, then finish them off with the rest of the frosted grahams, cream cheese side down.

Enjoy! You'll need to eat over a napkin for this yummy, messy snack.

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About The Author

Sarah Haan Sarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah's articles.

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