Although my 5 year old daughter will never make it on the show Master Chef Junior, she is starting to understand the basics of cooking and baking while learning basic meal preparation. It’s never too early to start teaching your children how to make meals in the kitchen! That said, I’ve put together these 5 meals your 5 year old can make like a boss to encourage them to try making meals on their own.
My 5 year old is obsessed with Tasty videos and asks to watch at least 2 videos each night before bed. Tasty has a few videos tagged with #tastyjunior – which are mostly overly-sweet desserts, but hey, if it can get my kid in the kitchen and encourage her to experiment with recipes, I’m okay with a few treats here and there. We’ve tried the Root Beer Pie and the Peanut Butter Pie Cups (my 3 year old helped make the PB pie cups too!).
We encourage our kids to help us with meals since they are curious and want to see what they are able to do. Although I don’t allow them to do everything that they ask to try, I’ve learned to not be the helicopter parent and to let them try to make a few meals while I sit back with my glass of wine. Of course they make a mess but the skills they are learning are far worth a few minutes to wipe the counters and wash a few dishes.
This is probably every kid’s favorite meal to make and you can’t mess it up too bad. Start with a ready made crust (we like Naan Bread), a jar of tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Kids can add preferred toppings but our kids like plain cheese pizza. Warning – spreading the sauce and adding toppings may be a bit messy for beginners so be ready to clean up a mess. Also be sure they use protective pot holders when placing the item in the oven. You may want to help them with using the oven!
Key -Lime Pie
This key-lime pie recipe is my award-winning (and also won my hubby’s heart) pie. The recipe is so easy that a 5 year old can do it! You can find the recipe here. Contents are mixed into a bowl and poured into a pie shell and refrigerated. This is very similar to the Root Beer pie recipe from Tasty although the fresh lemon and lime is much healthier than root beer!
PB & J
If your 5 year old is asking you to make a PB & J sandwich, show them how easy it is so they can do it! Once they figure this once out, you are done with packing lunches (haha, if only it were that easy!). My daughter will make herself a sandwich on the weekend or for a snack but I still handle the lunch packing sandwiches. We like PB/Nutella and jelly sandwiches in our house 🙂
Mac-n-cheese can be made a variety of ways… there’s boxed mac-n-cheese, the easy microwave bowls, from scratch on the stove top, etc. Learning how to make the easy versions are useful but making mac-n-cheese from scratch is a skill that younger generations are missing out on. For the purpose of teaching my 5 year old a variety of easy ways to make mac-n-cheese, we make mac-n-cheese in a crock pot. You can find the recipe here. They just throw all the ingredients into the crock pot and they are done!
How easy is it to heat some water and add some oats? Our kids like to add chocolate chips to their oatmeal for a yummy chocolate breakfast. This is one essential breakfast that 5 years should know how to make on their own, other than pouring cold cereal with milk! We like to boil water on the the stove top and add to our oats but we also taught our 5 year old how to warm her oatmeal in the microwave for an easier method.
These 5 simple meals are many kid’s favorite meals so why wouldn’t they want to learn how to make them on their own? It’s never too early to start teaching your children how to make meals in the kitchen. Start with a few meals that don’t require much use of heat or the stove top. Consider using a toaster oven, microwave or crock pot until they understand how to use a stove/oven. Don’t stress about the mess they will make! As long as you are there to coach and monitor what they are doing, they will have fun and so will you!
Get your kid’s cooking more meals with these recommended cookbooks:
- The Cookbook for Kids
- Cooking Class: 57 fun recipes kids will love to make (and eat!)
- The Disney Princess Cookbook
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