Cooking for Kids

Updated on June 11, 2007
V.B. asks from Miami, FL
15 answers

I don't cook. If I can microwave it - I'm happy. However, I don't want to burden my daughter with an inability to cook and don't want to teach her bad eating habits. So, I would like to START SIMPLE and begin to learn to cook simple kid friendly healthy meals that we can both eat. I'm looking for some recipes and/or a book that someone can recommend. Again I am not good at cooking and I'm a single full time working mom so time is limited. The simpler and quicker the recipe the better. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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answers from Fort Myers on

I wasn't taught to cook either and am now cooking almost every meal! That was 3 years ago. My cookbook of choice is the more for less cookbook ( ). It has REALLY easy instuctions and can be used by one such as I who messed up Kraft Mac and Cheese multable times.

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answers from Lakeland on

You should invest in a pressure cooker. You can season almost any meat turn it on and its don in 15 minutes or less. I've cooked a whole chicken in mine in 10 minutes. They come with an instruction guide on how long to cook the items and also one pot recipes. Mine is a six quart pot and it was $30.00 at Walmart.
Hope this helps,

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answers from Orlando on

a good idea would be cook books designed for men. they are normally very simple and easy to follow. be careful of the pre pared stuff, high in sodium! roasting a chicken is easy and cheaper then publix. wash it inside and out, no soap. then in a roasting pan, alittle garlic powder, paprika, maybe a spritz of pam for crunchy skin, breast side up, 25 minutes per pound at 325, cut deep in to the bird tomake sure its cooked all the way through. meatballs are good too, 1lb of chop meat, a raw egg, spices, diced up veggies (what evers left over) make in to golf balls and then fry or bake, fryis easier, bake is healthier. bake on a cookie sheet, 350 for about 20 minutes...



answers from Melbourne on

I sell Princess House products and we have "The miracle dish" that is a crystal casserole dish with a lid that is so awesome, you would love it. You can throw a whole 4-5 lb. chicken in it and sprinkle with some seasonings and put the lid on and microwave for 30 minutes and it comes out delicious! I thought you would have a rubber chicken, but because the crystal is a non-porous it creates its own little oven inside that cooks just like in the oven and keeps the juices inside so the bottom is filled a few inches with juices! I do that every week and the leftovers makes a great chicken noodle soup that I feed my little one for lunches for a couple days afterwards! That way she is getting some veggies too! Let me know if you want this dish for free. You can view the products on the site, invite a few friend over and I'll show you how you can get it for free!



answers from Fort Myers on

I use "My first meals" from Annabel Karmel. I love this book, it has very simple meals and you can eat them too.



answers from Boca Raton on

Take your daughter grocery shopping with you! Let her help you pick things out. It's a great learning experience, and loads of fun. I often take my son with me (he is now 7), and he loves it. He actually gives me ideas- I never plan a weekly menu- just buy what's on sale that week, or what looks good. Going to Publix is a weekly adventure for us. I remember when my son was a toddler, he insisted on bying a small whole fish. I did, not sure how to prepare it and doubtful that he'd eat it. I threw it in a pan with some oil, salt and pepper, and guess what?- he ate it! He tried many new items this way, by picking them out himself.

For young kids, you don't need to cook anything fancy. Your main seasonings are butter, olive oil, and salt.

My son's first favorite recipe involved bread crumbs. Your daughter will love helping you with this: use thinly sliced chicken breasts, pork chops, or tilapia fillets. Mix 1 raw egg with a little water in one dish; put some Progresso italian bread crumbs in another dish. Put any vegetable oil in a frying pan (to cover the bottom). Dip the meat in egg, then in bread crumbs, and put in preheated pan. They cook very quickly! Turn once to brown the other side. Goes well with mashed potatoes: start them before the meat. Cut peeled raw potatoes in quaters or chunks, put in cold water to cover. Boil until soft. Drain, add some milk, butter, and salt, and mash! Frozen green peas, steamed for 3 min. in microwave, complete this truly homemade meal!

Here is a very easy dish for a novice cook: Spaghetti with meat sauce.
Put some ground beef in frying pan, and cook over medium heat, breaking up in pieces with a spatula, until no longer pink. Pour in Prego traditional pasta sauce, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 min. or so - longer is OK. In the meantime, cook spaghetti as directed. Drain and mix with the meat sauce. Goes well with some salad from the bag, plain for your daugher, bottled dressing for you. If your daughter doesn't like the salad, give her a cut-up pieces of fruit.
Also, it's OK to have hot dogs sometimes, or those insanely delicious Bubba burgers- they go from the freezer into the pan- so easy and fast!!! Serve corn or beans or other veggies alongside, and it will become a healthier meal.

A great time-saver are those pre-cut, bagged veggies that are redy to go into the microwave. Before I nuk them, I drizzle olive oil and grate some fresh garlic on them, and a sprinkle of salt.

Good luck V., I hope this helps!

P.S. I have a great deal of admiration for you and all the other single Moms out there!



answers from Orlando on

email me directly and I will email you some recipies my babies LOVE! Most are easy and can be made in advance and even frozen!

Believe it or not.. I never thought I could cook.. never wanted to either. Now I find myself scribbling notes watching the food network. (This has been 3 years of work in progress).

The most annoying part of cooking is planning and making a grocery list.

I make two week dinner schedules so I don't have to be frustrated at the end of the day everyday which is what used to happen.

It helps to budget your finances and you can see better where the money is going. I always throw in a couple of next to no expense foods to make it easier financially.

Let me know if you're interested in what I've got.

[email protected]



answers from Daytona Beach on

my son loves pastina - its an old recipe passed from my husbands dear Italian grama -
boil @ 2 cups water
add pasta (I use @ 1/2 cup abc pasta or pastina pasta)
add two chicken boullion cubes
when pasta is almost done cooking - I
whisp in two eggs, one at a time, quickly(either with a fork or whisper if you have one) If you dont whisp the eggs quick they harden in like a sec.

Of course grama used to use real chicken stock and you can if you have it, but the cubes work okay :) Ive never actually measured anything, but I think the estimates are pretty close.



answers from Daytona Beach on

I think it's great that you want to teach your child how to cook! I tend to go mediterainian (spelling) which is really healthy and tasty. I wish I could give you the name of the books I use but I just packed (we are moving) them. Go to the bookstore or a used bookstore and sit down with the books to look at them. You might even want to watch some of the shows on the Food Channel. It would help with technique. Trust me, this can move you to many other hobbies (herb growing, veggie planting, to taking some classes together) One of the funniest thing I learned is that so many cultures are similar in their cooking, only the herbs are different. So fried chicken is in every culture, just tweeked abit with the flavor.
I don't love to cook, but I like the challenge of making something better each time. Look at it this way and you might find you will like this. PS. I read in the Parade second of the newspaper at age two the bitter taste buds grow don't be surprised if she's objecting to anything that isn't sweet.
Good luck! Jen



answers from Fort Myers on

Rachel Ray's cook books are easy and quick. There is also whole foods for the whole family and a kid version I believe.



answers from Miami on

there are soo much easy stuff now days it doesnt even take a genius...LOL!!! I am not the expert in the kitchen either. There are things like uncle bens boil in a bag those are great, or your favorite there are the microwavable ones great too. publix always sells some chicken pre seasoned and then all you have to do is pop it in oven for about 30 minutes or soo....thats how i started and you could even go online and get recipes from campbells soup they are fantastic very very simple and taste delish... Hope this helped a little



answers from Melbourne on

I'm also a 32 yd old single working mother of 2 two year olds! I keep it very simple for dinner. I make breakfast a lot, scrambled eggs, toast, pancakes, french toast, stuff like that. And lots of frozen veggies. The little boxes of Green Giant and Birds Eye veggies are perfect for a couple people. Maybe a rotisserie chicken from your deli? Thats always good for a quick dinner. I try to stay away from canned food and already prepared meatloafs, mashed potatoes, etc in the grocery stores because that stuff is amazingly high in sodium. I make soup (heat from a can of course) and grilled cheese (sometimes with ham) sandwiches a lot. My kids LOVE Ramen noodles, you can cook a package or two of those and swirl in an egg towards the end for some added protein. Any kind of pasta is good and easy. I always try to serve either a veggie or fruit with every meal, so sometimes I cut up an apple for a side, sometimes I just use applesauce. I'll tell you, if you have a crock pot, its nice to stick some sort of a roast in there in the morning and let it cook while you are working. I've just recently become a fan of those dinner preparation places like Dinner My Way, thats been a saving grace for me and when you figure out the price per serving, its not bad at all.



answers from Orlando on

You can find great recipes that are kid friendly in parenting magazines. I also find a lot of great little cookbooks at the check out counter in the grocery store or Target. I have also found some really great inexpensive kids cookbooks at Ross and Barnes and Noble in the discount book section. You could also check on for used kids cookbooks.

If you just do a goole search for recipes for kids, or easy meals you should be able to find a lot of sites that offer recipes for free. is a great site. Also Kraft and Campbells have good recipes too.



answers from Gainesville on

My favorite two words when it comes to no-time cooking: Slow Cooker :) Check out for some great recipies. Search by ingredient, method, dish type (like main dish, vegitable so on). I love it. I have a virtual recipe box on there and you can even create shopping lists to print and take to the store!

Hope this helps




answers from Boca Raton on

Hi V.,

I have found that a lot of the Campbell soups have good and easy recipies. You throw some of the soup in with rice, vegetables, chicken, etc and put it in the oven. Some of them are pretty tasty.

Good luck!

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