Sometimes, the last people you want running around the kitchen are your kids. But if you can avoid any catastrophes, there are some real benefits to cooking with your kids. In addition to learning the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, cooking from a young age teaches kids a lot about responsibility, communication, and the importance of following directions. Plus, letting your kids play an active role in the meal-making process can get them more excited about trying new cuisines. They might even be more open to eating different kinds of foods if they’ve been the ones preparing it!

With the right recipe choices, it’s easy to get them involved and maybe even eating healthier. For National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day (September 13), we’ve gathered up our favorite kid-friendly recipes that you can try out at your house. Now… let’s get cooking!

Something Snackable

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries from Mom on TimeOut

Most kids loooove french fries. But getting them to try zucchini might be a little bit tricky. It looks a little funny, it’s spelled a little funny, and — after all — it’s just not the same as a french fry. Or is it? This easy, baked, and cheesy recipe will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about zucchinis, french fries, maybe even life itself.

Something Classic

French Bread Pizza from The Pioneer Woman

Let’s start with something everybody knows and loves: pizza. The best part about this one is you can let your kids customize their pies. With pizza, the possibilities are endless. This simple recipe adds a crispy French bread crust to your pizza that may have you ditching traditional pizza dough for good.

Something Healthy


Salad in a Jar from hellowonderful

Pizza isn’t the only meal with endless customizable options. Use the same fun strategy to get more veggies into your kids’ diets with these kid-friendly salads in a jar. These are great for a quick meal at home, or make it now, close the lid, and enjoy it later! Give the kids some options and watch what the salad-builders-to-be start putting it all together. Who knows, maybe they’ll start heading towards the salad bar instead of the sugary cereals next time you’re at the grocery store.

Something New

Baked Spaghetti Squash from Cooking with my Kid

Whether your kids are already slurping down spaghetti or they haven’t quite embraced pasta yet, spaghetti squash is a nice alternative that’ll have kids stepping just a bit outside their usual chicken nugget comfort zone. Plus, kids and parents alike will have a blast turning that big old squash into a pile of stringy noodles.

Something Sweet

Healthy Baked Bites with Oats, Cranberries, and Apple Sauce from Laughing Kids Learn

It’s no tall task to get kids to east dessert. They’ll crush a tray of sugar cookies and suck down a few milkshakes without a second thought. Turn the processed sugar down a notch with these oat and fruit balls. A “healthy” dessert that will still satisfy anybody’s sweet tooth.

So what do you think? Are you ready to let your kids into the kitchen for some real cooking?! Let us know how it goes in the comments, or share some of your own favorite kid-friendly recipes!

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