Leading busy lives is par for the course for most families. Moms handle everything from the shopping to the cleaning and, of course, making sure everyone’s bellies are full. But when you throw in work, outside obligations or, even, just a tiring day of juggling all the things, even getting easy meals for kids on the table is just not possible. Plus, between multiple pick-ups and after-school activity drop-offs, weeknights can mean that everyone is eating meals at different times.
Empowering your tween to make easy meals for themselves is one way they can help out and build their confidence in the kitchen. So, whether you need them to pitch in when you’re having a late night at the office or you need a night off from cooking, your child can step in with any of these ideas for easy meals. If they’ve been watching you cook then they might have a sense of where to start, but don’t worry because we’ve put together some options that don’t require a lot of effort. These easy meals for kids to make range from stovetop cooking to microwave it and go.
Here are 10 easy meals for kids to make:
The great thing about spaghetti is that they put a mix of proteins and veggies into it. Your tween can cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. While that’s going, all they have to do is heat up some oil on a skillet and add in their choice of meat, veggies, spices and their favorite pasta sauce. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, they can add it to the skillet and mix everything together.
Easy meals for kids to make does not get any easier than canned soup. Your child can heat it up on a skillet or simply put the contents into a microwave-safe bowl. Add bread or crackers as a side and it’s ready to go!
A quesadilla can be as simple as a little bit (or a lot!) of cheese and deli meat. But, your child can also add in anything from last night’s rotisserie chicken to tomatoes and onions. Heat it up on a skillet or even a sandwich press, if you’ve got one handy.
4. Chicken tenders
Tenders are a simple dish that require seasoning and arranging on a greased pan that’s oven safe. If your child prefers breaded chicken then it’s just a few extra steps of dipping the chicken in a bowl of flour, a bowl of whisked eggs, then a bowl of breadcrumbs. They can flip them halfway through, but depending on the size of the cutlets the whole thing could be ready in as little as 15 minutes.
Ravioli, or really any frozen store-bought pasta, can be on the table in under 20 minutes. Your child can bring it to a boil and add their choice of sauce for a meal that’s both effortless and tasty.
6. Hot dogs
Your child can boil the hotdog or simply heat it up in the microwave. The best thing about these is that you don’t necessarily have to have the buns for it either. They can use any kind of bread and add mustard, ketchup or any other toppings.
7. Baked fish
Fish fillets might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of easy meals for kids to make but all it takes is a few ingredients and the oven does the rest of the work. Your grocery store or local Costco likely carries individually wrapped frozen fillets to make this even easier. In an oven safe dish, your tween can season the fish, add oil, lemon juice to taste, along with any veggies like bell peppers or green beans.
8. Tuna melt
All your child needs for this sandwich is some tuna, tomato slices, spring mix (some kind of fresh greens!), cheese and two slices of bread. Once they’ve assembled their sandwiches they can bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes.
9. Tortilla pizza
If your family likes thin crusted pizza then this is sure to be an easy winner. All they’ll need are tortillas, pizza sauce, cheese and any other toppings they like. Start by heating up a small level amount of oil on a skillet and gently laying the tortilla on top. Once the bottom is browned, flip the tortilla over and spread the sauce on top. Then, add the rest of your toppings and let the cheese melt before indulging. They can also be made in the oven by assembling the pizza beforehand and then letting it bake for about 8 minutes.
10. Pita pockets
These handy pita pockets (straight from your local grocery store) are great for throwing in a bunch of ingredients, smothering with sauce and enjoying. Your tween can use anything from last night’s leftovers to deli meat, chicken strips they’ve cooked on the skillet to frozen chicken they warmed up in the microwave, or salad mixes and steamed veggies. The custom combinations are endless!