Teach kids to cook with these 7 easy recipes | Wender Mind Kids

Teach kids to cook with these 7 easy recipes
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I started cooking myself when I was about 12, but my culinary training began much earlier. Thinking back I remember when I was very little my mother gave me cookie cutters so I could making adorable animal shapes out of roti dough, which she then cooked for me. Later, She and I worked our way through how to make a good béchamel for our once-a-month lasagna. I loved beating eggs for my dad’s omelettes. Box mixes of muffins and cakes were mine and my sister’s speciality.

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In high school, I was an advocate for making and wrapping my own lunches. After school I would make quesadillas, grilled cheese, or random creations based on what was in the fridge; I would cut fruit for myself or my sister, bake banana bread and more. Once I had a snack, I would follow my mom’s instructions to thaw meat or mix up a marinade so she could skip a step when she got home. When she made dinner, I would add rice or roti to it. During the summer I created salads I liked from takeaways and tried and failed many times to make cookies. It helped that I was – and still am – a person who absolutely loves to eat.

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Not every child will enjoy cooking as much as I do, but there is a surefire way to find out if they feel like it: let them cook. If you’re interested in trying it out, even letting them do a simple step here and there can be an amazing building block. If they’re younger, prepare for some messing up (and let them help clean up, if only to prevent them from becoming that roommate later). If they’re teenagers, let them figure it out for themselves, but of course let them know you’re there if they have questions. Small children like sensory tasks like squish, smash, mix and roll objects, while older children are more interested in the chemistry of baking or experimenting with flavors. Best of all, you can show them when it’s important to follow directions to the letter and when you know you can improvise.

If you’re looking to get your kids into the kitchen, these books and other resources can help

Below are recipes with steps that can teach kids some basic cooking skills. Maybe one is just right for your child. You know your child(ren) best!

Pop Pop’s Potato Pie, pictured above. This recipe was published in 2015 and written by a teenager; These potato cakes are her grandfather’s recipe that she tweaked with extra spices and a sauce. Her advice: “Even slow heating will help develop the nice crust without burning and ensure the pies are warmed through.” You’ll need to refrigerate the potato mixture for at least six hours or overnight before making the patties shape – and again shortly after the patties are formed – so consider this a lesson in patience. Kids might enjoy mashing up the potatoes and shaping the patties, and this makes a good pan fry recipe if you think they’re ready to handle the stovetop.

banana pancake. When you get a weekend morning together, just one, make banana pancakes. Teach little ones to measure and mix, make fun shapes in the pan and show them how to tell when it’s the right time to flip.

A tin cookie with a bowl that’s so easy, a kid taught me how to make it

Deli Salad Sandwich: 3 ways. When you’re ready to teach some basic knife skills, this super easy salad sandwich format calls for chopped celery and spring onions, both of which are easy to use and non-tearing (if you’re looking at onions). And if not? Chop up the ingredients for them and let them measure things and have fun pureeing and mixing.

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Baked falafel. There are many different ways your child can learn from this recipe. Maybe they’re willing to learn how to measure spices and infuse the flavors on the stovetop. They might enjoy learning how the food processor works. Or maybe they want to save the falafel mixture and shape it into patties. And if you don’t like to prepare these, you will surely like to eat them.

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Conversion Pound Cake. Homeschooling her kids, food writer Allison Robicelli has learned that math isn’t quite as painful to learn (or teach) when it leads to pies. Measure ingredients together (or let them do it themselves), then show them how to convert to grams and back. Or skip the conversion lesson and practice fractions by cutting and eating the cake. Want other recipes for class? Read her story here.

This key lime pie is a great tool to build kids’ — or yours — confidence in the kitchen

Corn, black bean, and red onion quesadillas. When I was a teenager, my favorite after-school snack must have been quesadillas. This is probably our easiest (and quickest) quesadilla recipe, and it’s one you can have your kid follow. You can teach them how to defrost frozen corn in the microwave, how to layer a quesadilla, and when you think they’re oven-ready, show them how to fry and flip them. Or you can bake these and show them how the oven works! These Onion Poblano Chili Pepper Quesadillas are a great way to teach basic chopping and frying skills. Wanna go way over the top? Make Barbecue Sweet Potato Tortizzas, a fun combination of pizza and quesadillas.

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Tomato Egg Drop Soup. Here’s another one created by a teenager I absolutely love. When your kid is ready to chop, sear and simmer, let them get on with it! And if not, they’ll still have fun cracking the eggs and pouring them into the hot soup.