Winter Meals to Make with Your Kids

Author: one tough job

This is the time of the year when many families come together to celebrate holidays or slow down to enjoy school vacations and cozy days indoors. Cooking and sharing meals as a family is a great way to connect, and everyone in the family can help, including children. Age-appropriate roles in the kitchen will keep every child safe and help them build confidence in their own skills. Gentle guidance from you will help your child feel safe to explore new things in settings such as school when you’re not around.

Here are 15 meals to make with kids from The Kitchn. Each recipe comes with an included suggestion of how your child can help with the recipe.

This turkey chili mixes things up away from ground beef; and lets you vary your spice levels. It’s not always as expected: some adults don’t like spice, and some of you are the first to see your child loves a good spice! Take the chance to adjust it accordingly.

Not every recipe needs to have a perfect fairytale setup: the 5-ingredient baked potato soup fully suggests using hash browns if they’re more accessible than whole potatoes. We love making use of what’s available!

A quick guide to quesadillas gives you the basics: prep, cook time, and how to get a good fold. Cheese does just fine on its own, or you can build in new fillings as your household prefers.

From our #CookingWithKids series, here are some guides on how to include of different age groups. We have five suggestions per age group ready for you to incorporate. For children ages 0-2, talk to them about what you're doing and why: Kids are known for being curious about everything, and naturally they’ll want to know exactly what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. If your child is 2-4 years old, they can mix and pour ingredients (with your help): under your guidance, help your child pour and mix ingredients into a large mixing bowl like salad or when baking cookies. A kid who’s 5-6 years old can get into cookie time by greasing a baking sheet: if you’re worried about using a nonstick spray, a slice of butter and napkin for your kiddos is also a great alternative (and lots of fun for them!). And the 7-9 year olds in your home can do more ambitious tasks like peeling produce with a hand peeler: make sure to watch those finger tips, and supervise your child while they peel the fruit, veggie, etc.

Every child develops at their own pace, so don’t worry if yours isn’t ready for some of the steps we’ve suggested – they’re only suggestions! By age 10+, many children can work independently with a task you’ve given them – if not, feel free to pick another ‘age group’ of tasks to give them. Happy cooking!

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