Now that all our kids are homeschooled, we thought we’d put together a few recipes that would afford some distraction from computer learning with hands-on activities that engage little minds.
Making meals together is one of our favorite family activities. My little one really enjoys the science and math that goes into baking, and we all enjoy tasting our newest creations together.
One of our favorite snack/sides are sweet potato fries, which satisfy both the salty and sweet tooth at once and are a healthy alternative to the old stand-by French fry.
I like using paprika and garlic powder to flavor my fries, but really, you can use just about any type of seasoning… get creative and encourage your little helpers to try a variety of seasonings to expand their culinary horizons! If you like spicy, switch out the paprika with chipotle or chili powder; if you like sweeter, try cinnamon and sugar instead.
Sweet Potato Fries
Makes: 4 Servings
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Wash and cut the sweet potato into thinly shaped fries
- Evenly lay out the sweet potato fries on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
- Toss in olive oil and generously sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper until they are evenly coated
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through
- Season with paprika and more salt to taste
If you’re in the mood for a throwback comfort drink, a refreshing choice for kids and parents alike is a fresh-squeezed lemon spritzer, a real favorite in this house! My kiddo really enjoys creating this one himself and serving it to us at our kitchen counter bar.
Kid-Friendly Sparkling Lemonade
Makes: 2 Drinks
- 8 oz Sprite or diet lemon lime soda of choice
- 1 Fresh Lemon
- Crushed Ice
- Cut the lemon into 4 equal wedges
- Fill a small glass with crushed ice
- Pour Sprite to about 3/4 full
- Freshly squeeze one wedge of lemon over the Sprite, stir, and serve garnished with another piece of lemon or lemon slice
We love banana bread for breakfast and dessert. Bananas are a great natural sweetener and kids love to stir the simple ingredients together. You can vary this recipe by adding in nuts or chocolate chips, or even fresh berries for a flavor burst!
Makes: 1 Loaf
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 overripe bananas, mashed
- 1 banana for decoration (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- With a hand or electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar
- Add the eggs and beat for about 20 seconds
- Slowly add the mashed bananas and beat until well mixed. Small chunks of bananas are ok!
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt
- Combine wet and dry ingredients into one bowl. Stir together vigorously with a rubber spatula until well combined
- If desired, decorate the top of your loaf with cut pieces of bananas! (optional)
- Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Tacos are great for even the pickiest eaters in the family. With plenty of toppings (or nothing at all) kids can pick and choose how they want to build their own dinners. A parent can brown the meat while the kids chop up the toppings for this easy weekly dinner staple.
Spicy Mango Tacos
Makes: 6 Tacos
- 6 soft flour tortillas, warmed in the oven (or taco shells if you prefer)
- 1 lb ground turkey (or meat/seafood of your choice)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 medium mango
- 1 cup iceberg lettuce
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium onion
- 2 limes, quartered
- Hot Sauce, if desired
- In a large pan, brown the meat over medium-high heat with olive oil until cooked through, drain excess oil/water
- Return to low heat and add the taco seasoning. Stir to combine
- On a cutting board, chop the mango, lettuce, tomato, and onion
- Arrange fixings, meat, and tortillas on a serving board for a build-your-own taco station. Garnish with limes and hot sauce, if using.