Introducing kids to the kitchen early in life helps in many ways. On one hand, they learn a new and very important life skill, on the other hand they develop taste for different flavors. They use their creative skills and experiment with various foods which in turn, helps in expanding their eating choices. I try to involve my girls in the basic cooking activities based on their age like peeling potatoes, peas, boiled eggs, soaked almonds, sometimes rolling parathas (bread), or even making raita. Also, setting the dining table and putting the cutlery in place. Such chores give the sense of accomplishment to the kids and parents get a helping hand too. So, here I am sharing a few simple, No Fire cooking ideas for kids.
A few simple, No Fire cooking ideas for kids
1. Fruit Tarts:
Banana, kiwis, strawberries, cherries, apple, oranges, grapes or any other fruits of your choice and availability
Let the kids cut the fruits into small pieces, you can use a fruit blunt knife. Now, fill the tarts with cream till half and top it with fruits and choco chips and enjoy cool with cold coffee. If you do not have choco chips available, you can also teach them how to grate the chocolate pieces and garnish over the tarts. They will learn cutting, grating and develop presentation skills also during this activity.
2. Fruit Skewers:
Take fruits of your choice preferably seasonal with a variety of flavors and colors as this will attract the kids to not just prepare but also gulp them in no time. Now, let the kids carefully cut the fruits into cubes. Cut fruits like strawberries and grapes into halves arrange the fruits one by one in the skewers. They will learn peeling, cutting, arranging, color coordination. You can also ask them to follow a certain pattern of fruits while arranging. Also, they will learn various shapes while cutting the fruits like triangular strawberries, oval grapes, round banana and square apple dices.
3. Sprouts Salad:
Bengal gram or chick peas (kale chane/chhole)
Cumin (Jeera) powder
One of my favorite activity to do with kids is preparing various salads. This helps them in recognizing many food items and also measuring them. In a bowl, take sprouted chick peas/ bengal gram, moong dal (you can also boil these and use), add 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped tomato, 1/2 cup chopped, cucumber, salt, black salt, cumin powder, black pepper and squeeze a lemon. Mix well, garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Serve cool.
4. Corn Salad:
Boiled Sweet corn kernels
Boiled potato (optional)
Lemon Juice (optional)
This is another salad you can try with kids that they love as its colorful, tasty and very healthy. Take 1 cup boiled corn, add 1/4 cup chopped tomato, 1/4 cup cucumber, 1/4 cup carrots, 1/4 cup chopped lettuce leaves, 1/4 cup boiled potato (optional), salt, black pepper, black salt, chat masala, lemon juice (you can skip also). Mix well and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
You can try various fruit shakes and smoothies with your kids, this will help them learn and measure the quantities and using a blender. You can use any fruits or vegetables of your choice. I have tried fruit smoothies only so far with my kids. Start with bananas, strawberries, add milk, sugar and blend well, let them pour in the glasses, garnish with fruits and nuts and serve the way they want.
6. Creamy Canapes:
Salt to taste
Take crackers and spread a layer of hung curd generously, add toppings of your choice like tomatoes, paneer cubes, boiled potato, boiled corn, cucumbers and salt. These make great party starters or even tiffin snack. You can replace crackers with home made matthri also and add curd, tamarind chutney, a slice of boiled potato, salt, black pepper, jeera powder and indulge in the goodness.
7. Pink Pinwheel Sandwich:
Hung Curd / Mayonnaise
Cut the sides of the bread (optional). If the sides are soft, you can skip this step. Chop all the vegetables finely and mix them with curd /mayo, add salt, black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Beetroot will not only make it iron rich but also will give a gorgeous pink color to the spread. Roll the bread flat using a rolling pin and then spread the mixture on a slice of bread. Now roll it carefully and keep aside. Make all the rolls and keep in fridge for 15-20 minutes. Cut them into pieces and enjoy.
8. Multicolored Sandwich:
Butter / Peanut butter
Tomato ketchup/home made tomato chutney/ tamarind chutney
Coriander mint chutney
Any jam of your choice
This is one snack I would eat during my childhood. Spread butter on a slice of bread and cover with another bread (you can use peanut butter also instead of plain butter), now spread green coriander mint chutney over it and again cover with bread. Apply tamarind sauce or tomato ketchup on this third layer and cover again with a bread. On the last layer, apply any fruit jam and a cheese slice. To keep it healthy, I use homemade amla jam. Also, in place of ketchup, you can use home made tomato chutney. Cut into pieces and serve.
9. Bread Cake:
16 Bread slices
1/2 Cup Cocoa powder
4-5 Tsp Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
Cut the sides of all the breads. Arrange four slices of the bread in a big plate making a big square. Spread a generous layer of whipped cream over it and cover it with another layer of bread. Now, again spread cream and cover with another layer of bread. Repeat this process thrice. Now, take cocoa powder and sugar in a separate bowl and mix milk spoon by spoon, we need a thick to flowing consistency chocolate frosting.
Once it mixes well, spread it over the top layer of the cake and cover the sides too. Even the surface using a knife. Decorate with sprinkles, gems or any other thing of your kid’s choice. Your instant cake is ready! If you wish you add fruits in between the layers and top of the cake too. Also, you can use Nutella or peanut butter or any jam of your choice in between the layers.
10. Bhel puri:
Puffed rice (murmure)
Coriander leaves/ mint leaves
Bhujia / Sev
Ketchup/ Tamarind chutney
One of the simplest, quickest yet fun task with kids is making bhelpuri. Slightly dry roast the murmure in a pan, then mix all the finely chopped veggies together. Now add ketchup, coriander chutney, raisins, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, lemon juice. Give it a nice mix, garnish with fresh coriander or mint and serve.
Apart from these, you can also try simple green salad, fruit chat, masala puri, nachos salad, apple broccoli salad and much more.
So, these were a few simple, No Fire cooking ideas for kids. Do let me know how did you introduce your kids to the kitchen?