How important is it to get your kids in the kitchen so that they can understand the basics of nutrition, eat well, and start learning to cook? Well, it’s more important than ever!
Food is our life force. Our children gain the nutrients that every cell in their body needs for proper growth and development through what they eat. How they feel, behave, and think is greatly influenced by their nutrition.
Unfortunately, we are surrounded by ultra-processed, hyper-palatable foods that are devoid of deep nutrition and full of potentially harmful ingredients. They are convenient, readily available, and super tasty — perfect for our fast-paced lifestyle, but also detrimental to our health.
According to the CDC, 1 in 5 children in the US are now obese, and we are seeing younger and younger children with type two diabetes. The food supply is one of the biggest contributors to the chronic disease epidemic.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. While we need to see change on a global and national scale and at economic, political, and societal levels, the first step is making adjustments in your own kitchen! It starts with setting up a healthy kids’ kitchen.
Encouraging kids cooking in the kitchen is a great way to establish healthy habits for the whole family, and emphasize that nutrition for kids matters.
This article is set up to be a helpful resource page for you — a place where you can find the strategies, tips, and information you need to get your kids in the kitchen.
Getting started with kids cooking in the kitchen
Inviting your kids to help and teaching them to cook can feel incredibly overwhelming! This group of articles will help simplify the process and give you the confidence you need to get started on a journey of healthy cooking for kids.
A Guide for Teaching Kids to Cook
Teaching Kids to Cook is a great all-around article that includes what age to start teaching your kids to cook, how to make it a positive experience for all, and how to keep kids safe along the way.
It also includes detailed lists of age-appropriate kitchen tasks, kids in the kitchen recipes, and helpful resources to support your adventure.
Try an Online Kids Cooking Course
This post describes my own family’s experience using Katie Kimball’s Kids Cook Real Food eCourse as an online aid for learning kitchen skills and building healthy habits.
It looks at what you get in the course, who it’s appropriate for, and the pros and cons (even from my kids’ perspective) so that you can decide if this online course is a good fit for your family.
Homeschool Cooking Curriculum Ideas
Whether you are homeschooling your kids, supporting remote learning, or want more structure around the kitchen experience, a homeschool cooking curriculum may be just the ticket.
How to Create an Awesome Homeschool Cooking Curriculum will guide you through the steps to putting your own program together. This article is full of free resources to support your curriculum, and compiles links and summaries to the best online cooking classes for kids.
Cooking with Toddlers: Sensory Learning in the Kitchen
If you happen to have little ones in the house, this article is for you!
Cooking with Toddlers is all about the benefits reaped from taking on this task, 15 of my best tips for cooking with tiny sous chefs, and fun recipes to work on side by side.
The kitchen can be a wonderful environment for early exploration of the senses, and engaging activities will prime kids for a lifetime of culinary curiosity.
Kitchen safety for kids
Kitchen and food safety for kids should be the number one focus when you bring your children into this environment. Sharp objects, fire, and contamination are all concerns, but can be handled safely with the right steps.
Kitchen Safety for Kids: Basic Rules for Safe Cooking
Establishing health and safety rules in the kitchen will give your kids the confidence they need to happily explore. Kitchen Safety for Kids offers my top 15 rules for cooking safely with kids.
From proper supervision, to safe food storage, to working with electric gadgets, this article will help you set up boundaries and teach your kids the steps to staying safe.
Fun (and Safe) Kitchen Tools for Kids
Along with general kitchen safety for kids, having kid-sized, easy-to-maneuver tools will make cooking a fun and positive experience.
25 Fun (and Safe) Kitchen Tools for Kids is a compilation of products that will assist your kids as they work towards greater self-sufficiency. Transform your kitchen into a kid-friendly space with these ideas.
School Safe Snacks: Allergy-Friendly Healthy Foods for Kids
Kitchen safety isn’t just about preventing cuts, burns, and foodborne illness — it’s also about accounting for a high prevalence of food allergies these days.
This article on School Safe Snacks covers why healthy snacks matter, what makes a snack safe for school, and a whole list of options you can turn to with confidence when it’s your turn for class snack day.
Nutrition for kids
Involving your kids in the kitchen is not just about teaching them to dice, saute, and roast. It’s also an opportunity to teach nutrition, where real food comes from, and how to best nourish themselves.
This set of articles will help adults better understand children’s nutritional needs, and offers ideas to engage kids in learning basic nutrition concepts.
Real Food for Kids
This article takes a dive into what it means to eat a real food diet as a family, and the benefits your kids will experience when real food is part of their day.
Real Food for Kids addresses how to overcome common challenges with adopting a real food lifestyle, whether it’s expense, time, or picky eaters. You’ll also find tips for getting your kids to buy-in to a healthy way of eating, and provide delicious real food recipes that your kids will love.
Clean Eating for Kids: Healthy Living Starts Young
“Clean eating” is a term that gets thrown around all over the health space, but this article tackles what it means when it comes to kids.
Clean Eating for Kids gives tips for how to adopt a clean eating lifestyle with kids, strategies for building kid-friendly clean eating meal plans, and clean eating recipes.
27 Healthy High Fiber Foods for Kids
As we become more reliant on processed foods, getting adequate fiber in our kids’ diets is nearly impossible. This article on 27 Healthy High Fiber Foods for Kids addresses how much fiber kids need, why it’s important, and how to get more of it in their meals.
This article wraps up with 27 high fiber foods and recipes to use them in!
Healthy Food for Picky Eaters
Picky eating can get in the way when you are trying to feed your children well. This article discusses common causes for picky eating (they may surprise you), consequences of a limited diet, and tips for expanding your family’s palate.
Healthy Food for Picky Eaters concludes with 10 healthy meal ideas for picky eaters.
Nutrition for Kids Sports
If you have young, active kids in the house, this article is for you! What to Eat Before a Soccer Game looks at how nutrition plays a role in best fueling your kids for success.
Why food matters for performance, the best foods to eat for young athletes, meal timing, and specific meal ideas are all included in this thorough article.
Teenage Athlete Meal Plan: Optimal Nutrition for Active Teens
Active teens also have important requirements nutritionally. This article focuses on the Teenage Athlete Meal Plan and dives into nutrition for peak performance, meal timing around activity, and how planning ahead can be your best ally.
We round out this helpful content with recipe links for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner ideas.
Teaching Nutrition to Kids: Starting Young for a Healthy Lifestyle
Parents and caretakers have a wonderful opportunity to positively influence our youth in so many areas — and the topic of nutrition is no exception.
This article on Teaching Nutrition to Kids discusses why it’s important to teach kids about healthy eating, my top five tips on how to do this, nutrition activities that you can do at home, and some ideas for the classroom.
37 Fun & Educational Nutritional Activities for Kids
This is one of my favorite articles because it provides practical kitchen and food safety activities you can do with your kids to help educate them around food.
37 Fun and Education Nutrition Activities including cut-outs, collages, sensory exploration, eating the rainbow, and food art! A variety of ideas to get you well on your way to fun in the kitchen and beyond.
Healthy cooking for kids
We have no shortage of kids in the kitchen recipes for your new kitchen adventures. This collection of recipe round-ups is composed of real food ideas for all occasions, all ages, and all taste preferences.
Any time you include your children in meal planning, shopping, cooking, and serving, they are more likely to eat the food. And they will learn competency in the process.
All of this can be done in a fun and subtle way that over the years will add up to insurmountable benefit. Let’s get cooking!
Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids
From parfaits to smoothies to egg bakes, this Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids round-up has something for everyone. Whether your kids like overnight oats, frittata, or pancakes to start their day, there are 31 delicious recipes they can experiment with in this post.
Breakfast Smoothies for Kids
Most kids LOVE smoothies, and they can be a great way to help kids of any age develop competency in the kitchen.
Young kids can help gather ingredients, add them to the blender, and choose their favorite flavor additions. Older kids can practice preparing ingredients, safely using a blender, and pouring their refreshing mixture. Breakfast Smoothies for Kids offers 21 fun recipes to enjoy.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Teenage Athletes
Getting your teens out the door with a healthy meal to start the day may be one of the most challenging daily tasks! This article on Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Teenage Athletes provides helpful solutions, and reminds us all why balanced nutrition in the morning is important.
Getting your teens involved in preparing their own breakfast will set them up for success and this article offers 15 easy recipes to get them started.
Simple, Healthy Kids Lunch Ideas
In all honesty, lunch can turn into the forgotten meal at our house, but kids need that midday pick-me-up, both mentally and physically. This article on Simple, Healthy Kids Lunch Ideas is packed with suggestions and solutions — 49 to be exact! These ideas will make sure that lunch gets the attention it deserves.
Not only are there specific recipes, but a helpful formula to follow that will teach your kids what a balanced meal is composed of and how easy it is for them to put together themselves!
Healthy Lunches Teens will Love
Healthy Lunches Teens will Love is an article to help all you parents with tweens and teens in the house. It’s an age where independence is desired, but guidance is still important.
We have solutions for lunches that pull together quickly, utilize leftovers, can be prepared ahead, and are thermos ready.
Healthy After School Snacks
Help your kids avoid the vending machine, and steer clear of overly processed packaged junk foods with the healthier ideas in this article on After School Snacks for Growing Kids and Teens.
Join me as we take a look at what makes a healthy snack, tips for encouraging your kids to eat real food snacks, and snacks they can make on their own!
Healthy Dinner Ideas for Kids
Do you dread the question, “what’s for dinner?” Feeding your family a healthy meal at the end of the day can start to feel exhausting. But this article on Healthy Dinner Ideas for Kids is designed to motivate the whole family to make it an enjoyable experience.
The 45 recipes in this post provide plenty of opportunity to involve your kids in the kitchen — even if you have picky eaters.
Kid Friendly Casseroles
All-in-one meals are some of our family’s favorites! Bring real food ingredients together with your kids for a comforting dish that the whole family can enjoy.
25 Kid Friendly Casseroles has simple suggestions for all palates, and tips on what to look for in a healthy baked meal.
25 Easy Crockpot Recipes for Picky Eaters
Not only is a crockpot valuable for busy nights, but it also produces deliciously tender dishes that appeal to the whole family. Crockpot Recipes for Picky Eaters delivers nourishment that you can feel great feeding to your kids, even if it feels like they turn up their nose at just about everything.
Hopefully this recipe round-up of kid-friendly dishes will inspire you to put your slow cooker to work, introduce your family to new tastes, and nourish your tribe.
How to Make a Tasty Green Smoothie for Kids
Getting more greens into your child’s diet can feel like a never-ending battle. However, when they are ones adding the greens and choosing other ingredients to go with those greens they are more apt to be on board.
How to Make a Tasty Green Smoothie for Kids provides a helpful formula for blended goodness and leaves you and your kids with a smoothie recipe that they’ll love.
Protein Balls for Kids
21 nutrient dense energy bites are packed into this article on Protein Balls for Kids! Not only do kids seem to love the taste of these bite-sized morsels, but they love to help make them!
Gathering ingredients, learning to safely use the food processor, and getting their clean hands dirty as they roll nourishing ingredients together into a satisfying snack. Be sure to tune into this post.
30 Cool, Refreshing Popsicle Recipes for Kids
Homemade popsicles can be healthier and far more fun than store-bought versions. This round-up gives you and your kids 30 Cool, Refreshing Popsicle Recipes to make at home.
Real food ingredients that blend up in a flash for a simple treat that will put a smile on everyone’s face. What a great way to get your kids excited about the kitchen.
Healthy Desserts for Kids
21 Healthy Desserts for Kids with no refined sugars! We all enjoy a little treat every now and then, but those treats don’t have to include junky ingredients to be delicious.
Helping you make a healthy dessert may be just what your kids need as an entry point into their culinary journey. This article offers all types of dessert recipes whether your family is looking for something chocolatey, fruity, or creamy to celebrate the day.
Healthy Cookies for Kids
Cookies come in all forms — crispy, chewy, chocolatey, and savory. This article gives you and your kids 21 delicious Healthy Cookie Recipes to try together.
With an emphasis on quality ingredients, natural sweeteners, and less processed flours, these recipes are an opportunity to talk about whole foods with your kids while also spending time creating fun treats for the family.
40 Fun & Healthy Summer Recipes for Kids
Anytime of year is a great time to get your kids started in the kitchen, but for many parents and caretakers summer provides less stressful hours. 40 Fun and Healthy Summer Recipes for Kids is a resource with summer in mind, but could be used throughout the year depending on your needs.
This round-up includes recipes for each meal of the day that are easy for kids to be involved in, or even do on their own (depending on age and kitchen experience).
Kid Friendly Meal Plans: Nutritious Meals Kids will Love
This article not only provides kid friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner, but it also discusses how to involve your kids in the meal planning process!!
Being prepared, planning ahead, and reducing decision fatigue are all key elements to maintaining healthy eating — and these strategies can be taught to your kids as you start to set them up for a lifetime of competency in the kitchen!
Need a complete guide for getting your kids in the kitchen?
I hope this page will become a wonderful resource you turn to whenever you need tips, suggestions, and recipes to assist you in the journey of involving your kids in the kitchen.
If you are looking for a guide that lays out a plan from beginning to end, including 84 fun and nutritious recipes, my Kids in the Kitchen eBook is for you! Check out this roadmap to better health, stronger relationships, and greater confidence today.