I'm always on the lookout for new ways to spend time with my own kids in the kitchen. So, when Horizon Organics asked me to share some tips for keeping kids active and involved, I loved the idea. As much as my boys love Legos, dump trucks, and computers, they also look to bake, cook, and help me in the kitchen whenever possible.
Today I'm sharing some easy kid-friendly recipes and a couple of craft ideas to help keep kids of all ages occupied and happy this holiday season!
Make it fun! Snack Tray Lunches have been a favorite with my crew ever since my youngest started eating finger foods. Hand them a tray and let them collect their favorite foods from all over the kitchen. Our make ahead produce boxes come in handy for easy lunches! The kids usually wind up with a mixture of fruits and vegetables, crackers, meats, and cheeses.
You have to have something to dip everything into and my son has been mixing up this Homemade Ranch Dressing on his own now for a couple of years. As soon as the kids learned to read, they were able to follow simple recipes and start helping. It amazes me that he rarely needs the recipe now and just adjusts everything by taste!
Smoothies are always a favorite around my house; whether it's an afternoon snack, breakfast, lunch, or even dessert. This Strawberry Date Shake Smoothie is one that the kids love to make on their own. The dates sweeten it without any extra sugar and it tastes just like a strawberry milkshake!
Want something a little heartier for a snack? Restaurant-Style Queso Blanco Dip is the smoothest, creamiest cheese dip ever. My oldest son can make this and the boys will hang out for an hour at the table just dipping their vegetables and tortilla chips into it. I love easy meals and snacks like this, because we can all spend time together without a lot of work in the kitchen.
For a special treat, these Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies are one of our family favorites. Kids of all ages love scooping and then rolling the cookies between their hands and then using their thumbs to make room for the jam. This is such an easy recipe to make with a bunch of kids!
My boys can make these Old Fashioned 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies completely on their own and they are PROUD of that! The older boys get a kick out of helping the youngest stir the batch together and scoop them out and stamp them. The fact that the batch makes just 14 cookies and takes less than 10 minutes effort makes them perfect for an impromptu dessert.
Chocolate Covered Clementines are simply delicious and my boys love to dip them and line them up on the tray. The fact that fingers might get coated in chocolate and the resulting chocolate covered faces are just part of the fun. Chocolate Covered Banana Bites are another great treat that the kids can make themselves.
If you have a free morning and kids to occupy, these Handprint Trees were the best craft we made this past year. We gifted the one in the picture to my mom, but my boys are going to make one for our house too. I absolutely love the way it turned out and the kids loved it too.
Ever since we learned how to make Homemade Playdough, I refuse to buy it from the store. Homemade playdough smells amazing, cleans up beautifully, and keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. My boys ask if we can make it every few months and it only takes a few minutes time to stir together a couple batches.
What do YOU do to keep your kids active and involved in the kitchen?