9 Kid-Approved Dinners & Desserts

In our little corner of Minnesota, we were snowed in due to a blizzard this weekend. When the interstate is closed, the temperature is -20°F and there’s no travel advised, well – you can’t really leave the house around here. And if you’re a parent, that means you have to get a little creative to avoid cabin fever with your kiddos.

So what’s a stir-crazy family to do? We’ve stayed busy by baking and cooking with the kiddos. (We’ve also started a new tradition of setting up a tent for the kids in our basement. I know it sounds silly, but “camping” with hot cocoa, lanterns and sleeping bags has added a lot of novelty on stormy winter nights.)

Of course, you never really need an excuse to spend more time with your kids in the kitchen. But if you do need a little inspiration, we’ve got you covered!

Here are nine fun dinners and desserts that you and your kids will love making together, no matter the weather:

9 Recipes: Perfect for Kids in the Kitchen
  1. Mom’s Taco Tots. Swap out ordinary tortillas for crispy tater tots on your next taco night.

    Mom’s Taco Tots recipe | Tastefully Simple

    With perfectly seasoned beef and shredded Cheddar cheese, this easy weeknight dinner will be a new family favorite. Plus, your kiddos can personalize their plates with their favorite fresh toppings, too.

  2. Mini Chicken Pot Pies. Homemade chicken pot pie – made the easy way! Filled with chunks of chicken, Cheddar cheese and veggies, these perfectly poppable little pot pies are super cute – and super delicious.

    Mini Chicken Pot Pies

  3. Mama Mia Chicken Fingers. Always a kid favorite, these crispy oven-baked chicken fingers are perfect for dipping and dunking.

    Mama Mia Chicken Fingers recipe | Tastefully Simple

  4. Deep Dish Sausage Pizza. Who needs delivery? Put a new twist on pizza night with this home-cooked dinner, loaded with gloriously gooey cheese and Italian turkey sausage.

    Deep Dish Sausage Pizza Recipe

  5. Southwest Beefy Mac and Cheese. Mix up your traditional mac-and-cheese routine with this creamy, hearty skillet. Add a salad and garlic bread, and boom – you’ve got a delicious, kid-approved dinner in under 20 minutes.

    southwest beefy mac & cheese recipe | Tastefully Simple

    Tip: If you have younger kiddos, just use 1 tablespoon Simply Salsa™ Mix to keep it on the mild side.

  6. Rustic Herb Chicken Broccoli Pasta. So quick and simple, this comforting one-dish dinner can be prepared ahead of time and popped in the oven when you get home. Great if you always have teenagers or tweens on the go!

    Rustic Herb Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

  7. Perfectly Tender Pulled Pork. Slow cooker recipes can be a such a simple way to get your kids started in the kitchen, whatever their ages. Simple and delicious, this popular pulled pork recipe is sure to become a family favorite. (Seriously, check out all of the five-star reviews online.)

    Perfectly Tender Pulled Pork

    Try serving it on sweet Hawaiian rolls for kid-friendly sliders, too.

  8. Polar Bear Paw Cupcakes. So cute and charming, these chocolate mint cupcakes are absolutely wonderful for wintry snow days.

    Polar Bear Paw Cupcakes

    Best of all, your kiddos will love to decorate every “paw” with sweetened coconut and mint patties on top.

  9. Go Fish Almond Cupcakes . Living someplace warm and sunny? Or dreaming of the beach like the rest of us in the frozen Midwest? Try these buttery “catch of the day” cupcakes, topped with swirls of cream cheese icing.

    Go Fish Almond Cupcakes recipe | Tastefully Simple

    My boys loved decorating them (and they loved eating them even more).

You’ll find more than 600 kid-friendly recipes on Tastefully Simple’s website, too. I guarantee your whole family will love them – and you’ll love having more time for everything else.

Happy cooking!

- Jen

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