There are so many fun things that are milestones for your kiddos as they grow a little older and learn to do new things and even take on a little more responsibility. And one of the fun ways your kiddos can start to learn and grow is to begin to cook a little in the kitchen. In this article I share some fun, easy recipes for kids that you and your kiddos can make together!
Tip: Save the image above to Pinterest so that you can easily refer to this article with easy recipes for kids to make (kid friendly recipes) later!
Making Kid Friendly Recipes (Easy Recipes for Kids to Make)
When you want to make easy kid friendly meals and make recipes that kids can help with, stick with simple ingredients that you are familiar with and that you generally keep on hand.
For me, those are items like chicken breasts, ground beef, different varieties of pasta, rice, potatoes, cheese, and in season fruits and vegetables. We also keep a wide array of basic herbs and spices on hand. And I’m not afraid of Googling to find a substitute seasoning if needed.
I hope you enjoy these easy fun recipes for kids!
Check out these related articles:
- 35+ Frugal Meals Your Family Will Love
- 85+ Easy and Fun Toddler Finger Foods
- 15 Simple 5 Ingredient Recipes
- 15 Easy Chicken Crockpot Recipes
- 65+ Fun Dinner Themes to Make Meal Planning Easier
- 15 Easy and Budget Friendly Dinners for Families
- 7 Best Grocery Money Saving Tips to Stretch Your Monthly Budget
Easy Ways to Save Money on Recipes for Kids
There are great ways to make easy kid friendly meals more budget friendly.
For example, three of my favorite apps for saving money on groceries are Ibotta, Rakuten (formerly Ebates), and Fetch Rewards (use XGGVM to get 2,000 bonus points when you sign up!). They are an easy way to save money on groceries every time you shop.
For example, you can get $20 just for signing up with Ibotta (probably still my favorite grocery money saving app), and you also get a $20 bonus when you sign up for Rakuten. And you can even stack your savings by using Ibotta, Rakuten, and Fetch all to save money on the same shopping purchases!
You can also save more money when grocery shopping by taking advantage of the sales and discounted items, buying produce in season, buying less expensive cuts of meat, buying generic brands rather than more popular name brands, and more.
You can find tons of ideas for how to slash your food and grocery budget here.
An Easy Option for Meal Planning with Kids
If you are looking for an easy (and budget friendly!) done-for-you solution for getting meals on the table, then a great solution for you is a service like $5 Meal Plans. $5 Meal Plans costs just $5 per month, and they do all of the planning for you!
They plan the meals you will eat and include the ingredients you will need to buy and the recipes you will need to follow to prepare them. Pretty cool! With $5 Meal Plans, the dinners themselves also cost less than $5 per meal to make! And the service comes with a 14-day free trial, so you have nothing to lose! If this sounds like a good option for your family, you can check out $5 Meal Plans here.
13+ Fun and Easy Recipes for Kids to Make
Here is a list of some of my favorite fun and easy recipes for kids to make. Letting kids help you in the kitchen is a great way to spark an interest in cooking that can last a lifetime, providing them with a fun pastime (and saving them tons of money over their lifetime by helping them to cook more at home! :)).
Scrambled Eggs with Toast (or Tortillas)
My kids love eggs for breakfast (or for whatever meal :)), and it’s so fun to let them help to make them.
With help, your older kiddos can cook scrambled eggs over the stove. And it’s super easy and a super simple recipe. A simple recipe for scrambled eggs follows.
Or another way that we like to make eggs is in a microwavable egg poacher. We have two of them, and my older daughter can now make eggs with toast or egg tortillas all by herself this way! They’re great!
- 8 eggs
- Water or milk (1/4 cup or so)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Spray a large nonstick pan with nonstick cooking spray, and then crack the eggs (carefully) in the pan or in a bowl, and then pour the eggs into the pan.
- Add the water, and then stir the eggs well with a large wooden or plastic spoon. (If they are plastic spoons, don’t leave them in the pot.)
- Turn the burner on to medium, and then stir the eggs occasionally as they cook.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and continue cooking and stirring the eggs for a few minutes until they are no longer runny.
- Serve with toast (butter or margarine on the toast is optional), or wrap them in a tortilla shell. You could also sprinkle cheese over the top, if desired.
Another recipe my kids like to help with are pancakes. We like to make our pancakes and waffles even more fun by letting one of the kiddos pick a food coloring to make them a cool color.
And we also like to make our pancakes fun shapes. For example, we like to make heart-shaped pancakes for Valentine’s Day, and four-leaf clover cookie cutters work great to make fun St. Patrick’s Day themed pancakes.
And there are also tons of fun shapes you can make for Christmas and winter, like Santa shapes, stocking shapes, ornament shapes, snowman shapes, and more!
Here is the simple recipe we use to make pancakes.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk, eggs, and oil, and mix until smooth.
- Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Lightly brown on both sides.
- Serve warm with butter and syrup, powdered sugar, or other toppings.
Our kiddos love waffles. (What’s not to love, with all the sugary options for toppings, or even the healthier options like berries? :)) And they have helped to make the batter many times. Like we do with pancakes, we like to make our waffle batter fun colors. We’ve made waffles that are blue, green, purple, pink, black, orange, red, yellow, and multicolored. And I’m probably forgetting some colors in there. 🙂
Of course making waffles from a mix is super easy when having kids help, but if they are old enough they can also make waffles from scratch with a little assistance. My kiddos love to help crack the eggs (they’re pretty good about not getting shells in the batter now, too :)).
And another way to make making (and eating!) waffles more fun for the kids is to make waffle sticks with a waffle stick maker. (And they’re really affordable, too, at under $20!) And our kids love having the waffle sticks to dip in their syrup, too. (They say it’s less messy. I’m not sure that’s true, but it’s possible!)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (we generally leave out the sugar)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the waffle iron. Crack the eggs and put them in a large bowl. (Beat them at this point, if you want, for fluffier waffles. I never worry about doing that. :))
- Add the flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and mix until smooth.
- Spray the heated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, and pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup mix onto your iron (depending on the size of your waffle iron). Cook until desired doneness. (If you like them more well done, cook until they are golden brown. Personally, I like mine not well done, so I don’t let them get to the crisper or golden brown phase.)
- Serve warm with butter and syrup, powdered sugar, jam, peanut butter, hazelnut spread (Nutella), fresh fruit, or other favorite toppings.
We generally make muffins from a box (almond poppyseed is one of our favorites), but we also make muffins from scratch, like zucchini muffins and banana muffins.
We like this simple banana muffins recipe below.
Tip: Reusable nonstick silicone muffin cups like these come in fun colors for the kids and make cleanup quick and easy!
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In another large bowl, mash the bananas. Then to that second bowl add the eggs and oil, and mix well. Stir the mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Grease a 12-muffin pan. Fill the greased muffin cups half full.
- Put the muffins in the preheated oven, and bake for about 20 minutes (or until inserted toothpick comes out clean). Serve warm with butter or margarine, if desired.
Egg omelets are another pretty simple meal that kids can help to make! And they are so versatile, which makes it easy to adapt them for even picky eaters. Here is one recipe that we like.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (or substitute butter or margarine)
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small onion
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup water or milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (or more, if you like)
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until the onion is tender.
- Crack the eggs into the pan, and add the 1/4 cup water or milk. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.
- Allow to cook until the eggs start to solidify. Top with cheese. Fold the egg mixture in half, and let it continue to cook until the egg mixture solidifies and the cheese is melted.
- Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or other favorite toppings.
Peanut Butter and Banana Pitas
This is a fun twist on a favorite traditional kids’ lunch. Instead of typical PB&J, try peanut butter and banana pitas, instead!
Simply spread peanut butter (or other favorite nut butter, like almond butter) in your favorite pitas, and add bananas sliced with a butter knife. Easy peasy!
Or to make them even more flavorful, add slices of apple and add a little bit of cinnamon (or cinnamon and nutmeg), if desired.
Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwiches
I have to admit–it was a happy day when we taught our kiddos to make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This was one of our first steps in helping them to be a little bit self-sufficient in the meal-making department. 🙂
Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is another simple recipe for kids to make. Our older daughter in particular likes to help make mac and cheese now when we have it for dinner.
We generally make mac and cheese from a box on the stove, but for a quick lunch (or quick, no-cooking required dinner), we also like to make mac and cheese in the microwave with this awesome Rapid Mac Cooker. It’s so fast that way (ready in about 5 minutes)! And the kids can pretty much do it themselves when we cook it in the microwave!
Easy Homemade Mac ‘n’ Cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups water
- 4 cups milk
- 1 pound uncooked pasta (I used cavatappi)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 4–5 cups (16-20 ounces) freshly-shredded* sharp cheddar cheese (I used sharp white cheddar)
- Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add flour, and stir until combined. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Then pour in 1 cup of the water, and stir (or whisk) until the mixture is completely smooth and begins to thicken. Gradually pour in the remaining water and milk, stirring until evenly combined.
- Stir in the pasta, salt, garlic powder, and mustard until combined. Then continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture just reaches a simmer. (Btw, I recommend grating your cheese while the pasta cooks to save time!) Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the low simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 9-10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. (Be careful not to overcook the pasta!)
- Remove from heat, and stir in the cheeses until melted. Taste, and season with additional salt (and black pepper, if you’d like), as needed.
Want all the cheesy goodness of pizza with all of your favorite toppings but don’t have the time to make pizza and don’t want to spend the money to have pizza delivered? Then tortilla pizzas are a perfect solution!
This simple dish is another great meal for kids to help make, and they will have a lot of fun doing it! Plus, what kid doesn’t love having their own personal pizza, with the toppings they choose, to devour?
- 4 8-inch tortilla shells
- 40 pepperoni slices
- 1 small can tomato or pasta sauce
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- other favorite toppings (sliced olives, pineapple chunks, Canadian bacon slices, crumbled sausage, sliced peppers, sliced mushrooms, and so on)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the tortilla shells on a large baking sheet (or use two baking sheets, if needed).
- Spread 1/4 of the tomato sauce on each tortilla. Add 10 slices of pepperoni to each tortilla, add any other toppings you would like (see the ideas above), and sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded cheese over the top.
- Bake the pizza tortillas for about 5 minutes in the oven, or until they reach the desired crispness and brownness that you like. Note: You could also make these pizza quesadillas in the toaster oven or simply heat them in the microwave, if you prefer.
OK, here’s another fun pizza recipe, while we’re at it. 🙂 Homemade personal pizzas are a great easy meal for kids to help make. They will love helping to put on all of the different toppings (or making their own pizza with just a couple of their own personal favorites).
Don’t have pizza crust or pizza dough? No problem! You can make your pizza on a bagel, a tortilla, or flatbread, and just bake for about half the time (5 minutes)!
- 1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce (or use pizza sauce or marinara sauce, if you have it)
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 4 individual pizza crusts (8 inches each) (from the store or homemade)
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 1 package (3.5 oz) sliced pepperoni
- additional favorite toppings (sliced olives, chopped pineapple, crumbled sausage, sliced peppers, sliced mushrooms, and so on)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Mix the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a small bowl until well blended.
- Spread sauce evenly onto crusts.
- Sprinkle pizzas evenly with cheese, and top with pepperoni and any other toppings.
- Place pizzas on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges of crusts are lightly browned and cheese is melted.
This is another fun and easy recipe for kids to make.
- 8 large tortilla shells
- 6 tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- additional ingredients such as spinach, lunch meat, cooked chicken chunks or shredded chicken, black beans and salsa, or other fillings, if desired
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
- Spread margarine or butter on one side of a tortilla shell.
- Cover tortilla shell with shredded cheese and other toppings as desired.
- Spread the second tortilla with margarine or butter, and place on top of first tortilla and cheese.
- Lightly brown on one side, and then flip and lightly brown on the other side.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas and toppings.
Pizza Quesadillas (aka Pizzadillas)
Pizza quesadillas are another fun and easy meal for kids to make. You can follow the instructions above, and simply add 8 to 10 or so slices of pepperoni on each tortilla before you close up the quesadillas with the second tortilla.
This is another meal that your kiddos will love to help you make. And as with many of the kid friendly meals in this article, you could also make these pizza quesadillas in the microwave (or toaster oven), if you prefer to do that. That could be a great option for you to save some time or if you are not quite ready yet to have your kiddos use the stove. (Of course, when you do have your kiddos use the stove, make sure that you are right there with them!)
Chicken Nuggets and Fries or Tater Tots
Chicken nuggets and fries or tater tots is another really easy meal for kids that they can help make.
Though you can of course make chicken nuggets and fries from scratch, buying them from the store does save time and makes it easier for little hands to help.
You can bake the chicken nuggets and fries or tots in the over according to package directions (your kiddos can preheat the oven to the temperature you tell them and help to lay out the nuggets and fries on the baking sheet(s)).
Or to speed things up when needed, you can cook the chicken nuggets in the microwave on a large glass plate and cook the fries over the stove. (We regularly cook fries on the stove in a large nonstick skillet; no oil or even nonstick cooking spray required.)
You can cook the nuggets for about five to eight minutes (depending on the number of chicken nuggets that you have) and the fries for about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the number of fries that you want to make).
Add salt or season salt to the fries, get out your favorites condiments (like barbecue sauce, ketchup, ranch, or fry sauce [our personal favorite for fries and potato wedges] for dipping, and you’re all set!
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Final Thoughts on Easy Recipes for Kids
Make family mealtime even more special for your kids by having them help to prepare simple meals when you can. Even when you have picky eaters, you can still find fun and easy recipes for kids that your little ones will love! These simple meals for kids are perfect for feeding the whole family.
What other ideas for easy recipes for kids do you love? What recipes for kids do you go to again and again? Leave a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear your ideas!