I have to say, cooking with your kids is a great way to spend family time right now. Because of the new coronavirus pandemic—and the recommendation that we all practice proper social distancing until further notice—this has been, to say the least, a trying time for everyone. And if you’re like me, a parent who’s stuck at home with kids, it can be downright exhausting. If I left them to their own devices, my two girls (ages 9 and 12) would alternate between beating each other up and staring at their screens, neither of which is an option I love.
One thing I’ve been doing with the girls has been cooking. It keeps us all busy and fed, and, as a bonus, it teaches them cooking skills! They’re also learning how to make a lot with a little, as in, using more nourishing shelf-stable foods rather than stuff that’s fresh. I love that they’re going to come out of this knowing how to create inexpensive, nutritious meals.
Maybe when they get to university, they won’t have to survive on UberEats and ramen noodles!
Here are some of our favorite recipes so you can start cooking with your kids. They range from very simple to a bit more complex, but they’re all suitable for kids to either take the reins or act as sous chefs or assistants.
Quick mac and cheese with broccoli that’ll make you give up the boxed stuff
Pasta. For. Days. It’s safe to say that my life would be a lot harder, and my kids a lot hungrier, if pasta ceased to exist. And during this time, it’s one of the quickest, easiest ways to satisfy everyone’s cravings. Because carbs. This homemade mac and cheese is so simple, you’ll never go back to the boxed stuff again (not that there’s anything wrong with the boxed stuff, but mine is tastier).
The fudgiest mug brownies ever
These little mugs of heaven take one pot and 30 seconds in the microwave. In other words, they’re the perfect thing to make with kids or even teach them to do on their own.
Peanut butter noodles. Enough said
This dish combines everyone’s favorite ingredients into a bowl of heaven. If your kids love peanut butter and pasta as much as mine do, they’re going to love making, and eating, these simple noodles. Bonus: Make them with any frozen vegetables you have on hand!
Chocolate fig muffins that are chocolatey and protein-packed
Muffins are usually like little pieces of cake—except when they’re not. These use cocoa powder for the chocolatey taste, dried figs for fiber (the little seeds are satisfyingly crunchy too!), almond flour, and chia seeds for protein. If you don’t have chocolate almond milk, you can sub in dairy milk, or any other milk alternative.
An incredibly tasty sweet potato–and–chickpea curry that uses a bunch of canned chickpeas
I’m all about canned beans. The kids love them, they’re cheap, and they last forever in the pantry. This curry is one of the most popular recipes on my site for a reason: It’s delicious, it’s easy to make, and it freezes like a dream.