10 Cooking Projects to Do with Kids to Combat Cabin Fever

There’s nothing like a little cooking to keep kids busy — and happy on a day off. If the winter weather has you indoors with your little ones all day, try introducing a hands-on kitchen project. All you need are simple recipes with reliable results, just like these.

For Young Kids and Beginner Cooks

Kids love making bread. Since their experience with bread is usually limited to let’s say aisle six at the grocery store, making bread at home feels a little bit like seeing a teacher outside of the classroom. Though you’ll need plenty of time to prep this recipe, you can do it with only a handful of ingredients.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

This recipe has been a family favorite for years. Not only are the results delicious, but with lots of easy little steps (and no knives in sight), these tarts are an ideal project for tiny hands to help with.

I’ve made these for so many parties I’ve lost count, but I’ve never thought of having the kids help — until now! This six-ingredient recipe is so simple and yields such delicious results that it’s perfect for starter cooks.

Ree's Homemade Applesauce, delicious with Apple Pancakes, as seen on Food Network's The Pioneer Woman, Season 4.

©2013,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

2013,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Not only is homemade applesauce simple and much tastier than its store-bought cousin, cooking it makes your whole house smell like heaven.

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Picasa

There is almost no way to mess these up, because the recipe is so forgiving. Bonus: You don’t need an oven, just a food processor and a pair (or two) of hands.

For Older Kids and More Advanced Cooks

Slice, saute, assemble and bake. This keep-em-busy activity not only doubles as lunch, but it has a built-in side of veggies to boot.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

These sweets are so full of good-for-you ingredients that they make a wonderful snack, or more often than not, a highlight at the tea party at my place.

This soup can be served hot or cold, according to Ina, and it delivers the tastiest results every time.

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

If you have taco leftovers, start there when prepping this recipe. If not, get the kids working the stove! They’ll be cutting tortillas and dicing tomatoes so be sure to supervise, but trust me, this is a meal everyone will be proud of in the end. And your family may even ask for seconds.

ReeDrummond_ChocolateChipCookieIceCreamSandwiches_H

ReeDrummond_ChocolateChipCookieIceCreamSandwiches_H

Chef Name: Ree DrummondFull Recipe Name: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream SandwichesTalent Recipe: Ree Drummond’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, as seen on The Pioneer WomanFNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, HOLIDAY/SUPER BOWL/COMFORT/HEALTHYShow Name: The Pioneer WomanFood Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Ree Drummond Full Recipe Name: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Talent Recipe: Ree Drummond’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, as seen on The Pioneer Woman FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, HOLIDAY/SUPER BOWL/COMFORT/HEALTHY Show Name: The Pioneer Woman Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Step one: Make the cookies. (Let ‘em cool.) Step two: Assemble the sandwiches. (Let ‘em freeze.) Step three: Enjoy!

Charity Curley Mathews is the mom of four small kids and lives in North Carolina on a mini farm in the making. She’s a contributor to InStyle, The Huffington Post and eHow Food and the founder of Foodlets.com, a food and parenting blog where every recipe is full of fresh ingredients, simple to make and kid-tested x4. You can follow her on Facebook.

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