Family-Friendly Recipes - Kids in the Kitchen E-Book

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In Family Friendly Recipes – Kids in the Kitchen, the Guelph Family Health Study puts together some great tips for cooking with children of all ages, along with providing some great healthy recipes for families.

Children are great imitators they see their parents as role models and often want to follow what their parents are doing, may it be the way you walk, talk, the foods you eat, they even match the colour of the clothes you wear. It is important to be a good role model for your children, one way to do this is by teaching young children to cook,
this encourages them to continue this habit throughout the rest of their life.

Teaching children to cook while they are young encourages them to continue this habit throughout life. As a parent, you are your child’s most important role model. Choose healthy foods for yourself and eat together as a family. Here are some ideas adapted from EatRight Ontario for getting your children involved in meal preparation:

Cooking with 2 to 3 Year Olds

Very young children like to explore with their senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and tasting. They also like to do things on their own. Place an empty pot on the floor with a spoon keeps their hands busy. Try letting your kids:

  • Add items to dishes (like chopped vegetables to a casserole)
  • Help find ingredients in the fridge or cupboard
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in the sink

Cooking with 3 to 4 Year Olds

At this age, children may be more interested in talking than eating! Try letting your kids:

  • Pour from a small pitcher or measuring cup
  • Make a simple sandwich or pizza with prepared ingredients
  • Mash sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots or bananas
  • Stir ingredients together (like muffins, pancakes or sauces)

Cooking with 4 to 6 Year Olds

At this age, some kids may show signs of being picky eaters. While the food they prepare might not make it to their fork, try to be patient knowing that cooking is helping them warm up to the idea of trying new foods. Try letting your kids:

  • Cook with a friend for a fun play date
  • Set the table for meals
  • Grate cheese with supervision  

Recipes to Make with 2 to 3 Year Olds:

  • Blueberry Mini Scones 7
  • Frozen Yogurt Bark 9
  • Sunshine Muffins 11
  • Salad on a Stick 13
  • Strawberry-Banana Popsicles 15


Recipes to Make with 3 to 4 Year Olds:

Chocolate-Dipped Oranges 17
Honey & Orange Roasted Carrots 19
Easy Fruit Pizza 21
Salt & Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas 23
Tuna Melts 25
French Toast 27

Recipes to Make with 4 to 6 Year Olds:

Thai Lettuce Wraps 29
Falafel Burgers &
Sweet Potato Fries 31
Loaded Apple Slices 33
Sweet Potato & Butternut
Squash Soup 35
No-Bake Granola Bars 37
One-Pot Pizza Pasta Bake 39
Teriyaki Salmon 41
Veggie & Cheese Quesadillas 43


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Family-Friendly Recipes - Kids in the Kitchen E-Book