Encouraging your children to make their own meals builds creativity and an excitement about trying new foods. Meal prepping at a young age promotes independence and a basic life skill that is essential to maintain throughout adulthood. This independent skill is one that can be practiced frequently, especially during summer break when your children are at home more often throughout the day. Starting with straightforward and easy recipes using basic culinary skills helps develop independence in carrying out everyday tasks. This independent meal preparation develops fine motor skills, reading and following instructions as well as measuring concepts. Learning to cook at home with wholesome ingredients eliminates dependence on convenient food sources and grows appreciation for home-cooked meals.
This is a quick, easy and fun meal for kids to create on their own. The barbecue chicken quesadilla is a quick, delicious lunch or snack option that any kid can whip up on their own. If you don’t have a waffle maker, no worries! You can always cook the quesadilla using a microwave for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is warm and cheese is melted.
All you need.
- ½ cup cooked, chopped chicken or deli sliced chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce
- 2 Tbsp chopped red onion
- 2 Tbsp chopped yellow bell pepper
- 2 6-inch flour tortillas
- ¼ cup shredded Colby jack cheese
All you do.
- Lightly grease and preheat a waffle baker according to directions
- In a bowl, combine chicken, barbecue sauce, red onion and yellow bell pepper
- Spread mixture onto your tortilla
- Sprinkle with cheese
- Cover with second tortilla
- Bake in preheated waffle baker until golden brown
A pizza meal idea that kids can make themselves is using English muffins for the pizza crust and adding the toppings of choice, then placing in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
All you need.
- 6 ¼ inch thick sliced of pineapple
- 3 English muffins, split
- 6 Tbsp. pizza sauce
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella
- 6 Tbsp. diced ham or 6 slices of deli ham
- 6 Tbsp. green bell pepper, chopped
All you do.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place pineapple slices on a grill pan or skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and cook over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes per side or until grill marks are visible. Set aside.
- Place muffin halves on baking sheet and spread each with 1 tablespoon pizza sauce. Top each with 1 tablespoon shredded mozzarella, 1 pineapple ring, 1 tablespoon or 1 slice of ham, 1 tablespoon bell pepper and additional tablespoon shredded mozzarella.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Riverfront Hy-Vee, Mankato