Make the most of having everyone home and get those kids cooking delicious meals with you!
Having the kids home all day can be tough, but it’s the reality of the world for the time being, and it might not be going away anytime soon.
As bleak of a thought as that might be, you don’t have to spend this time eating junk food and hiding away from your rowdy kids. Since the kids are home and you have a number of basic foods in the house, let’s take this opportunity to teach our kids a little bit about cooking!
In this way we can create some great meals for the family while imparting some culinary knowledge onto the next generation.
Cooking With Kids
A cooking lesson for your kids doesn’t need to be some kind of whimsical “fun” food. I honestly thought of doing a post about fun recipes to do with kids. It started to feel like a lot of work though, since I’m already doing a lot of homeschooling with mine, and I have my own work to do. Instead, I decided to focus more on some good basics with them. They can get a lot of cooking knowledge by creating some very basic meals that will serve them well in the future. And the result is regular meals that we need to make and eat anyhow.
Some of the recipes I’ll be referencing use Pantry Staples. This is a good time to talk to your kids, especially older ones, about what kinds of foods are good to stock in their eventual homes, and about things they can easily make from that pantry stash. You can also learn more here about making the most from your pantry basics.
Let’s take a look at some of the awesome meals you can make with your kids while social distancing from the rest of the world.
At your local supermarket, you’ve likely seen a lot of empty shelves. Items like steak, ground meat, chicken breast, and other staples are long gone. However, full roasts are, for the most part, still there. Also, making a roast yields a lot of meat which is wonderful for leftovers (so you don’t have to cook again the next day!).
This is a great opportunity to teach your kids how to prepare a simple roast.
Try teaching them how to make a roast leg of lamb using this recipe. They can also get a great education on how to roast pork perfectly. Another can’t miss easy recipe is my simple yet effective pot roast.
Of course, you don’t have to do all your cooking in the oven. This can be a great time to introduce your kids to the wonders of the Instant Pot. Try making an Instant Pot pork roast with them.
We all know that no roast is complete without gravy. Show your kids that you don’t need canned gravy when you’ve got a recipe for homemade gravy. That recipe in particular is great because it’s a tutorial with ratios of flour to fat to liquid explained (yes, that means there’s some math involved! Yay to us all home-schooling now! Ha!).
What’s great about this is that making a whole roast will seem like a big deal for your kids, but it’s a very basic series of steps. All you’re really doing is putting it into a pan and placing it in the oven.
Afterwards, you can use the meat for other dinner recipes, lunchtime sandwiches, or even freeze it for later.
Basic Side Dishes
Why not teach your kids some basic side dishes to go along with your entree?
Rice is a great and versatile side dish to prepare with your kids. It can go with so many different meals. I recommend using the Instant Pot to make your rice. There’s a number of ways that you can do that with various types of rice.
If you want to make something a little more in depth, try our recipe for cheesy rice with broccoli, made in the oven.
If your kids are anything like mine, they love soup! Imagine how much they’ll love a soup they actually made themselves.
If you want to start out simple, I recommend a nice chicken noodle soup – plus it’s perfect in case someone is feeling under the weather. If you wanted to go for something more fun (but still easy to make) try teaching them to make Pizza Soup.
My kids’ absolute favorite is Zuppa Toscana, a creamy Italian soup with sausage, kale, and potatoes. I make this for them every week or two. We have it for dinner one night and then they take it in their thermoses for school. With the kids being at home though, making soup for dinner one night and then having the leftovers to serve for lunch is a great idea too!
Any shrimp lovers in the house? You can teach your kids to make shrimp straight from frozen and have some fun showing them how to tell when the shrimp is done. They’ll marvel at how it changes color and curls up a bit.
You can even make some restaurant quality meals with your kids like Shrimp Fried Rice.
No meal is complete without a dessert, and your kids will love learning how to make all kinds of sweet treats.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with baked goods. If you happen to have a can of cranberry sauce in your pantry leftover from Thanksgiving (you know you do!) try making some cranberry sauce muffins!
We’re all trapped inside for the time being, so why not make it a memorable experience? You can take some of the stress out of it all and have an unforgettable bonding experience with your kids by preparing some of these recipes together.
If you want more information about things you can be making while home all day, sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get some emails packed with useful info and as a special gift, you’ll also get my Air Fryer Appetizer Ebook for free (if you have an air fryer that you haven’t been using much, lots of time at home is a good time to try it out!)
Good luck and hang in there!