February 13th is Galentine's Day, and we can't forget about our littlest chefs when it comes to cooking meals to share with your gal pals 👩👧👧. Cooking itself is one of the great universal unifiers, but that doesn't mean it must be complicated. Quite the contrary! The following recipes are easy enough for even preschoolers to handle--with a bit of help from mommy, of course 👩🍳!
📋The Three "E"s...📋
Let's talk about encouragement, empowerment, and engagement for your growing girls 💪. Meal prep and cooking encourage your children to create healthy eating habits and self-sufficiency from an early age. 👧 Additionally, it empowers them to regularly get involved in the kitchen, even in minor ways. 👩👧Moreover, you are engaging them with reading, number, and motor skills that they can reapply to other areas of their lives.
🤔One More Important Thing...🤔
Although all of these recipes are undemanding, always keep in mind that your little one needs to operate at their own pace. 🙏Patience and grace are necessary for those itty-bitty hands to keep moving. If things seem tricky, give them a moment to sort it out themselves or ask for help before stepping in. 🥰And don't forget positive reinforcement along the way. Now, let's get cooking 🍳!
To start us off, a scrumptious salad. Salads provide an excellent way to build up to more complex dishes for our miniature chefs-in-the-making. 🥬There's no one recipe to follow, so you can ask them to pick and choose their favorite veggies or toppings to ensure they want to eat it once complete. 🍅We recommend precut bagged greens and baby tomatoes that don't require sharp utensils to slice as your base. 🥒Have your little one rinse and drain the produce to prep, then mix in the ingredients as they see fit. This one is all about having fun. Top with her favorite dressing or serve as is.
This delectable treat requires fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, granola, and yogurt. Mommy may need to step in to help chop strawberries, but the rest your little girl can handle by herself. 🫐 Rinse and drain fruit while preparing two to four small cups or containers. Dice and mix fruit as you see fit. Put 1/3 cup of mixed fruit to the bottom of each container. Next, layer in 1/3 cup of yogurt. For the final third, add more fruit while sprinkling in the granola and top with a thin layer of yogurt. 🍦 If there is space left over, add more fruit. Keep chilled until ready to serve and enjoy!
🥨Tiny Tot Trail Mix🥨
Have you ever watched your little girl pick bits out of trail mix? Now she can create her very own version that she'll eat by the handful with nothing left over to pick out! Premade trail mix has never been as good as taking simple snacks found at your local produce section. 🥜Take this excellent opportunity to have her select from pretzels, nuts, dried fruits, chocolates, and candies next time you're grocery shopping. Sprinkle them together in a sealable container and give it a good long shake to mix. 🍫Now she has a healthy snack to substitute chips or sweets whenever she likes.
🥜Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich🥜
This dish is as simple as its namesake and is delicious closed or open-faced for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks. Have your tiny chef spread peanut butter over her favorite bread in an even layer. 🍫Then, sprinkle on a handful of mini chocolate chips. Don't worry, mom; we measure based on HER hands, so we don't go overboard. 🍌 Next, peel and slice a banana and place them evenly over everything. All that's left to do is enjoy 😋!
We are cranking up the cooking factor for the classic bacon-lettuce-tomato wrap, but it still requires no stoves or ovens to make 🤯. The bacon we'll heat in the microwave while we prep our other ingredients. Line a microwave-safe plate with no less than two layers of paper towels. 🥓Place bacon evenly on top and microwave for 4-6 minutes with a pause at the halfway mark. Take this time to check the bacon as you may need less time than suggested to make them nice and crispy. 🥬Rinse, drain, and slice your tomatoes and lettuce. Choose from flatbread or soft tortillas as your base. If she has a favorite dressing or shredded cheese, layer them on the wrap before adding your BLT. Fold or roll the bread over to seal, and you're all set. Yummy🍅!
🍕Garlic Toast Pizza🍕
This lunchtime or evening dish requires adult hands and supervision for prepping a conventional or toaster oven and removing from the heat once cooked. However, the prep work is just as effortless as our previous dishes. 🥖 Start with store-bought Texas toast or her favorite garlic bread, one packet of sliced pepperoni, 1/2 cup of pizza or spaghetti sauce, and two cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. 🧀Feel free to go off-recipe and add your personal favorite toppings. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place 4 to 6 pieces of toast evenly on a baking tray. 🍅 Add sauce, cheesing, and pepperoni as she sees fit. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove, let cool, and great ready for some chef's kiss-worthy pizza 🧑🍳💋.
🍌Frozen Banana Pops🍌
This healthy afternoon treat or after-dinner dessert is a year-round delight that's a joy to create. Your tiny cook will need eight popsicle sticks, four medium bananas, chocolate or yogurt, and her choice of topcoat. 😋We recommend nuts, sprinkles, or even cereal with small pieces like Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes. Place wax paper onto a baking sheet. 🍫 Next, add your chocolate or yogurt for dipping and your topping into their own small bowls. Peel and cut each banana in half, then insert a popsicle stick into each one. Using the stick as a handle, gently dip the banana into the chocolate or yogurt until covered. Next, dip the banana into your topping bowl until you have a nice, even coating. 🧊Place your finished product onto the baking sheet and chill in the freezer for up to an hour. Remove and enjoy!
And there you have it! That wasn't so scary, was it, mom 🤷♀️? Now your culinary cutie can create delicious and healthy dishes almost entirely on her own for friends, loved ones, or maybe just for you! Have you tried these recipes before? How did they turn out? We'd love to read your comments below. Bon Appetit 👩🍳!