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Easy Kid-Friendly Recipes Using 4 Ingredients or Less

Image via Scholastic

Looking for more ideas to keep your kiddos entertained during the summer, while in the middle of a global pandemic? The answer is simple – and it’s happening in the kitchen! Cooking with your children is an amazing way to broaden their vocabulary, enhance their fine motor skills, increase math ability, and encourage them to try new foods. And of course, when you cook as a unit, family bonding is a big bonus! You can create some amazing memories and develop recipes that last through the generations. Here are a few easy recipes that you can make with your children that are just 4 ingredients or less!

Breakfast: 

Banana Sushi

Here is a quick, easy recipe you can have for breakfast or as a midday snack! Since you will be using a knife for this recipe, make sure to keep those little fingers safe and supervised. 

Ingredients: (per each serving) 1 banana, 2 tbsp of the nut butter of your choice (or sunflower butter if you have a nut allergy), any toppings you may want, such as coconut flakes, chia seeds, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips

  1. Peel the banana and spread nut butter on the top (or all over, if your heart desires)
  2. Pour on any toppings, making sure to press them into the nut butter so that they stick
  3. Cut the banana into sushi-sized pieces
  4. Enjoy right away, or pop them into the freezer on a baking sheet with some parchment paper and chow down later!

Muffin Tin Egg Cups

As a great source of protein, these egg cups can be a perfect way to start the day. Feel free to customize them as you see fit with whatever fillings you desire. While great served immediately, they can also be great for meal prepping – just pop them in the fridge. You will need to use the oven for this recipe, so adult supervision is required. 

Ingredients: (for 12 muffins) 6 eggs, ½ cup of milk, 1 diced tomato, ½ cup of mexican blend cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Whisk together the eggs and the milk
  3. Add in the tomato and cheese, and stir until well combined
  4. Lightly grease 1 muffin tin, or use paper liners, and fill them about halfway with the mixture
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  6. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to a week

Lunch: 

Turkey and Spinach Pinwheels

Get ready for an easy, fun, picnic ready recipe! There is a knife involved with this one, so be sure to keep an eye on the process.

Ingredients: (for 8 servings) 8 flour tortillas, 1 carton (8 oz) of garden vegetable cream cheese, 1 lb of deli turkey, 4 cups of fresh spinach

  1. Spread the cream cheese on the tortillas
  2. Layer the turkey and the spinach
  3. Roll up and cut each wrap into 6 even pieces

Bell Pepper Pizzas

This fun spin on the classic pizza recipe will help get some more veggies into your kids diet – and easily too! Customize your pizzas with any toppings you like. And make sure to handle the oven work for the kiddos.

Ingredients: (for 8 mini pizzas) 4 bell peppers halved and cored, 2 cups of italian blend cheese, 1 cup of pizza sauce, and olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Season your peppers with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil
  3. Spoon the pizza sauce into each of the peppers
  4. Top the pizza sauce with cheese (and any other toppings you choose)
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the peppers are crisp and the cheese is melted
  6. Let cool for a minute, and enjoy!

Dinner:

Homemade Pasta Sauce

Everybody loves pasta! But how about an easy homemade sauce? This recipe is going to require the stovetop, which is a great way to help teach your children how to cook safely in the kitchen. 

Ingredients: (for 6 servings) 1 can (12 oz) of tomato paste, 1 can (28 oz) of stewed tomatoes, ½ cup of brown sugar, ½ medium onion diced

  1. In a saucepan, saute the onion over medium heat with a little olive oil (you can add some garlic too if you like) 
  2. Add the tomato paste and stewed tomatoes and stir
  3. Add in the brown sugar gradually to taste, along with salt and pepper, and any other spices or herbs you’d like to add
  4. Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour at least, stirring occasionally
  5. Serve with any pasta you have, or save in a jar for pizza sauce

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Casseroles are a great thing to create with your children, as the prep is not very difficult, and there usually isn’t a stovetop involved!

Ingredients: (for 6 servings) 2 and a half cups of cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken can work well), 1 ½ cups of enchilada sauce, 1 cup of Mexican blend cheese, 8 flour tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken with half of the enchilada sauce and half of the cheese
  3. Place 4 tortillas on the bottom of a buttered 2 quart baking dish
  4. Top with half of the chicken mixture, and add a little more enchilada sauce on top, then repeat to create another layer
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 5 to 10 minutes 
  6. Garnish with additional toppings like sour cream, green onion, or avocado if you choose, and dig in!

Dessert:

Apple and PB Sandwiches

Here is a quick, easy, and delicious way to get some apples in your kid’s diet. This one does require a knife, so supervision is required. 

Ingredients: (for about 6 sandwiches) 3 apples cut into slices horizontally with the core removed, 2 tbsp of peanut butter (or any nut butter), and any toppings you want such as chocolate chips

  1. Spread the peanut butter on the apple slices like you would on a sandwich
  2. Add any toppings on the inside
  3. Enjoy! 

Dirt Pudding

Here is a goofy, no bake dessert that your kids will love to make and love to eat!

Ingredients: (for 8 servings) 2 cups of chocolate pudding, 1 container (8 oz) of whipped topping, 1 package of chocolate cookies crushed, 1 package of gummy worms

  1. Spoon 1 tbsp of the crushed cookies into each serving cup
  2. Layer the chocolate pudding on top, about 3 tbsp each
  3. Mix the whipped topping with the crushed cookies, leave some of the cookies for garnish
  4. Add a layer of the cookie swirled whipped topping
  5. Spoon 1 tbsp of the crush cookies on top as the garnish
  6. Add as many gummies as you want in each cup
  7. Enjoy!

Have any 4 ingredient recipes you make with your family? Tag SmartSitting in Facebook and Instagram posts so we can see and share your ideas with recipes on our channels. Want to know more about our tips and tricks? Make sure you sign up for our newsletter for all the latest info coming from our team!

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