Kid-Friendly Kitchen: Teaching Kids About Healthy Cooking

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When our kids are small, our job as parents is to cook and serve healthy, nutritious meals that will help them grow. As they begin to grow, however, our job changes and we need to teach them how to prepare their own meals so that they are adults who can eat healthy foods instead of relying on processed fast or frozen foods. It can be hard to know how to do this. Sometimes it feels easier to cook the meal yourself, rather than try to find ways to let the kids help.

Foods like casseroles and soups are quick and easy one-dish meals, but they don’t leave much room for help. Instead, look for foods that will allow you to show the kids what to do, and then gives them the freedom to make their own. Let’s look at some examples.

Breakfast

There are a lot of options for breakfast that allow you to teach before supervising. Bacon and pancakes are great together and are the perfect opportunity to teach and oversee the kids. First, choose from one of the many diet-specific pancake mixes available. Then, show them how to mix the pancake batter, make a few pancakes for yourself, and then let them make their own.

Follow a similar path with the bacon. Start with the purchase selection; the best quality bacon tends to come from farms where the animals were ethically raised and undergo minimal stress. Such sources are less dependent on medication to keep livestock healthy, and the meat is therefore not as tainted as that originating from more industrialized pig farms. When it’s time to cook the bacon, make a few slices for yourself, and then let your kids make their own just like the pancakes.

Breakfast sandwiches with a fried egg, a slice of ham, and some cheese on an English muffin or biscuit is another great teach-then-do option. Cutting up fresh fruit for a fruit salad is also quick and easy.

Lunch

Lunches tend to be quicker, easier meals for many families since it’s in the middle of the day and we’re often so busy.

Sandwiches tend to be a go-to for most families come lunchtime, and there are lots of ways you can change them up. Consider:

·  Swapping white bread for whole grain

·  Making pita pocket sandwiches

·  Hot sandwiches vs. cold (including how different a cold sandwich can taste if it’s toasted)

·  Using a large lettuce leaf in place of bread

 Sandwich fillings are very versatile, too. Deli meats are not your only option. The types of sandwiches most kids are willing to eat include tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, meatballs, tofu or bean sprouts are all great options. Swap peanut butter for almond or sunflower butter and switch up the grape jam for some raspberry or apple butter. Look for sugar-free versions to make things healthier.

Dinner

By the end of a long day, you usually just want to get dinner done and on the table. You’re hungry, tired, and cooking with the kids seems like too much, especially if there is one or more picky eater in the family. But there are some great, easy options that are fun and will get dinner on the table fast.

Try having a make-your-own-pizza night. The kids will love choosing their own toppings and watching the cheese melt in the oven. You can do a similar theme with quesadillas, letting everyone choose beef or chicken. Let the kids help you prepare taco or burrito meat, and then everyone can make their own tacos or burritos. Older kids can cut up fresh veggies to snack on while dinner’s cooking or to be steamed as a side dish.

The great thing about teaching kids to cook is that even the pickiest eater is more likely to eat because of their involvement. Teaching kids about food health is critical to their health now and as an adult. Challenge them to find healthy recipes for the whole family. You’ll soon find that cooking with the kids is much more fun than cooking alone.

 

LisaLisa

My name is Lisa and my husband Carl, and I are the owners of the Night Helper Blog. We have been married for over 30 years and we have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies and of course blogging. The Night Helper blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands.

31 thoughts on “Kid-Friendly Kitchen: Teaching Kids About Healthy Cooking

  • May 17, 2018 at 6:03 am
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    I believe that kids are interested in cooking by heart, it’s just a matter of getting them involved.

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  • January 28, 2018 at 8:30 am
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    These are great ideas. It is important to teach our youth healthy cooking ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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  • January 28, 2018 at 12:03 am
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    Great tips! I love the make your own pizza night!!

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  • January 27, 2018 at 10:35 pm
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    Kids love being in the kitchen, learning to do healthy food too so awesome!

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  • January 27, 2018 at 6:08 pm
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    I love that my kids have learned to do basic cooking and recipes in school. Every kid should know basics for the future that doesn’t use a microwave.

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  • January 27, 2018 at 12:58 pm
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    I didn’t do this enough with my daughters, although we did do it now and then. I try to do it more with my grandson.

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  • January 27, 2018 at 4:36 am
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    It’s fun to teach kids how to cook. They love learning how to make things.

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  • January 27, 2018 at 12:55 am
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    Kids love to help in the kitchen and it is such a great way to work on so many different skills.

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  • January 27, 2018 at 12:13 am
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    Thanks for the article. My son is a very picky eater.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 7:16 pm
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    My grandkids have been showing more interest about getting involved in the kitchen, I think I am going to have to plan some family cooking sessions soon!

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  • January 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm
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    My Mom always had me in the kitchen, watching her make healthy meals. I’m so glad she did. It certainly has helped me as an adult.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 4:15 pm
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    My kids have been involved in helping me cook since they were young. They are teens now and love to make dinner.I am thankfull for that as it really helps:)

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  • January 26, 2018 at 3:30 pm
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    I don’t have kids of my own but when i take care of my nephews they love to help me cook food to eat. We do enchiladas in the oven or make homemade pizza since its easier for them to help and choice their toppings.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm
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    My kids love to help cook.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 1:02 pm
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    We try to eat healthy by making many of our meals ourselves and including kids in shopping and cooking choices.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 10:48 am
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    It is really important to involve your kids in the kitchen. That is how I learned to cook.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 9:57 am
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    This is very important. My mom never really taught me about healthy cooking, let alone cooking. I made sure to pay attention to things she did as well as research some things on my own.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 9:18 am
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    My kids love to be i the kitchen. When they’re involved in the meal making, they eat more!

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  • January 26, 2018 at 8:32 am
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    2018 is the year that I get fit and trim. I love being healthy and feeling great.

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  • January 26, 2018 at 8:20 am
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    I’m trying to help my 6yr.old become a better eater.
    Always looking for ways to incorporate veggies, which he hates…

    Reply
  • January 26, 2018 at 1:09 am
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    I try to cook healthy most days and I always try to have my children help.

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  • January 25, 2018 at 9:06 pm
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    Definitely some great ideas.

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  • January 25, 2018 at 7:41 pm
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    we have been eating healthier. I am feeling better.

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  • January 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm
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    I try to cook healthier meals, and I totally agree about getting children involved. I feel they see to try more things when they take part in the prep.

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  • January 25, 2018 at 4:48 pm
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    I love cooking with my daughter. Just her enjoying it as us time makes her much more interested in making healthy food.

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  • January 25, 2018 at 4:17 pm
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    I am trying to cook healthier meals for my family this year!

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  • January 25, 2018 at 2:21 pm
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    My nephews are 8 & 12, and both seem to enjoy being allowed to make something for themselves in the kitchen. Sometimes, it’s just putting popcorn in the microwave. I’m not really comfortable letting even the 12 year old use the stovetop alone. I try to keep them in my line of vision whenever they’re in the kitchen, lol.

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  • January 25, 2018 at 1:52 pm
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    This is great! I feel that the younger you get kids involved with cooking will lead to more confident kids that will make healthier food choices!

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  • January 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm
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    well my daughter is 2 so this was interesting to read

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  • January 25, 2018 at 11:35 am
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    I try to cook healthy and I love teaching my granddaughter how to cook

    Reply
  • January 25, 2018 at 10:28 am
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    this was very useful info ty 🙂

    Reply

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