Meals Your Kids Will Want to Cook (And Eat!)
Variety is the spice of life... but try explaining that to my 4-year-old who whines because dinner isn’t mac and cheese (again). Both of my daughters can be picky eaters, which admittingly is frustrating for someone like myself who has few qualms when it comes to trying new foods. “Where is the trust?” I ask aloud when my daughters reject something new I offer them. According to them, it went away with the gross jelly bean flavors I once tricked them into eating. Touché.
We turned to our fantastic Graphic Designer, Jonathan (also a dad to two young kids) for his expertise. Jonathan told us, "My wife Barbara read in a parenting blog that the best way for kids to be less picky is to have them help cook the meals. I can say from first-hand experience that it works. Our daughters are a whole lot less incredulous about the food we put in front of them when they know exactly what went into the dish. And, surprisingly, they have fun helping in the kitchen!"
Things can get messy and recipes don’t turn out perfect, but most of the time they’ll tout that the dishes they help prepare are the best meals they’ve ever tasted. In my experience, it’s best to agree with them. Help your kids grow into competent, independent chefs (or just get them to eat their supper) with a few of these easy meals:
Spice ‘n Easy Meals
Spice ‘n Easy recipe mixes were designed to make cooking quick and simple without sacrificing quality or flavor. They’re so easy, in fact, that kids of all ages can pitch in to create a multi-course meal for the whole family.
Sour cream is the only ingredient you need to mix up a flavorful batch of buttermilk ranch with this Spice ‘n Easy. Let the kids create veggie plates as a healthy and fun appetizer—creative veggie designs encouraged!
Kids and adults alike love BBQ sauce. Same goes for meatloaf, a comfort food classic. With this Spice ‘n Easy, you get a flavorful spice mix for meatloaf along with a packet of Midwestern Sweet BBQ sauce for the glaze. That means all you need from the store is ground beef, breadcrumbs, and eggs. This one’s fun because kids can get hands-on, mixing everything together and sculpting the loaf. Plus, the leftovers make awesome sandwiches for the next day.
You can skip the oven with this simple dessert. Just add the spice mix and a few additional ingredients to a bowl, mix everything up, pour it into two mugs, and microwave. Ding! Dessert is served.
If you too have a picky eater on your hands, start by having them help out with recipes for food they already love.
These are great for even the youngest chefs since there’s no messy (and potentially dangerous) frying involved. They’re made Shake ‘n Bake-style with a simple panko breading flavored with our tangy Pyramid Peak Lemon Pepper, the same seasoning that goes into the creamy dipping sauce.
Make this recipe even simpler by using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Kids can help shred the chicken before they mix it with Midwestern Sweet Barbecue Sauce. Then, let them build their own quesadilla by layering the meat and cheese before you help them heat it up in a skillet.
Skip the ice cream truck and cool off with this sweet treat from your own kitchen instead. All you need is a blender and four ingredients for a fresh version of an all-time favorite!
Once your helper gets more confident in their skills, start adding some more elevated choices to the menu.
Kids love bright colors and can’t get enough of dips - this recipe’s got both! Plus it’s healthy so you can feel good about letting them eat as much as they can handle. The best part is that hummus is the perfect base for experimenting with spices. We like a mixture of Park Hill Maple & Spice and Ground Cumin Seeds or Poultry Seasoning and Ground Coriander Seeds, but encourage your kids to taste different spice combinations and get creative.
This recipe is way simpler than it sounds and has pretty mild heat so it’s totally family friendly. From mixing ingredients and stirring beef to chopping broccoli, there’s plenty of simple steps kids can help with. The result—a base of rice or any other grain you prefer, topped with flavorful ground beef—is sure to become a go-to weeknight meal.
This is a fun one because it combines two things that don’t normally go together - BBQ sauce and Asian stir-fry. Bonus: it’s a super simple way to sneak in plenty of veggies. This simple and sweet dish that comes together in about 15 minutes.
Want your kids to eat more veggies? Browse The Best Spices and Herbs For Seasoning Veggies. We’d love to see photos of the recipes you make at home or cooking with your kids. Share them on Instagram using #savoryspiceshop!