Whenever I do cooking activities with classes, I get students, teachers and parents asking for the recipes. I’ve started sending recipe print-outs home with the students, but I’ll post them here too.

These are all recipes which are easy to do with kids. For many of these, especially when working with younger kids, we use scissors a lot instead of knives. A nice clean pair of kids’ scissors can cut tomatoes into wee chunks (just halve or quarter them first with a sharp knife), chop kale and herbs into tiny pieces, cut onions into little pieces (pre-slice the onions into rings)… Kids love mixing and measuring too. Get creative!

And the best part is, most kids are pretty willing to eat (or at least taste) foods they’ve made themselves!

Happy cooking and eating!


Kale and oregano pesto: This is delicious, for kids and adults alike! It started out as kale and oregano pesto, but has changed into kale and herb pesto, using whatever we’ve got available – we’ve used parsley, chives, garlic chives, thyme… We even made cilantro pesto and the Kindergarten kids devoured it. Experiment with it! Eat it with pita, pasta, on pizza….

Kale and Oregano pesto – recipe for handing out

Flatbreads: Not using ingredients from the garden, but I’ve made them with kids together with kale pesto (or other dips/sauces) and they’ve been a hit. Kneading is a great hands-on activity for little hands. I’ve made this mostly with 3-5 year olds, but I’m sure older kids would be into it too. This recipe is originally from Stephanie Alexander’s “Kitchen Garden Cooking for Kids”, which I don’t yet own but have borrowed from work many times and it’s on my list of books to buy…

Flatbread recipe

Kale Chips: I hear from teachers and parents on a very regular basis that they’ve started making these at home and can easily gobble up a whole bowl full. Play with the flavour combinations.

Kale Chips – recipe for handing out

Scissor Salsa: I originally got this recipe from a wonderful book called “How to Grow a School Garden” by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Kathleen Pringle. It’s a great hands-on recipe (this is where I got the whole chopping with scissors idea in the first place). Good, fresh tomatoes are key to this recipe. Play around with the other ingredients, add more or less hot pepper… If I have leftovers of this, I often boil it up into a pasta sauce or tomato soup.

Scissor Salsa

Garden Burritos: These can be made using rice paper wraps or using large lettuce leaves as the wrap – the lettuce leaves tend to be easier for smaller hands to handle, while older kids can use the rice paper. I’ve had kids who never ate anything green at home offer to make that night’s salad for dinner, in the form of these “garden burritos”. With a selection of prepped toppings available, everyone can create their own wraps.

Garden Burritos aka rice paper wraps


The next few recipes are ones I made with a grade 2/3 class this winter. Their teacher, Rebecca Weigand, is also really into local food (and even did a farm internship a few years ago, so I actually met her at Wychwood Barns farmers’ market before working with her at school). She asked me to do some baking and cooking with her class this winter, so that I could work with smaller groups in the kitchen rather than her cooking with her whole class at a time. It was great! We chose recipes based on ingredients which are available in Ontario in the winter, and she put together a worksheet for the students focusing on local food. Besides learning about local food, the students also got to put some measuring skills to use, as well as comparing liquids and solids. There is a student in that class who is allergic to eggs, so we ended up finding vegan recipes to use. We didn’t keep everything absolutely vegan – I’ve posted the recipes we used, as well as the original on the websites where we found them. As we were trying to be as local as possible with our recipes, we used maple syrup or honey instead of agave syrup – I think that any liquid sweeteners you have or which are local to your area should work.

Here’s the worksheet that each student filled in for the recipe they helped make: Baking worksheet – local

Carrot Muffins: The original recipe is for something the blog writer calls “scuffins,” a blend between muffins and scones. We ended up making mini muffins. They were delicious.

Our version of the recipe: Healthy Carrot Cake Power Muffins

Beet chocolate muffins: I’ve used a few beet chocolate recipes over the years, and this one is definitely my favourite. They are intensely chocolaty, which I love! We tried this with actual eggs with another class – I don’t recommend it. There are lots of egg-containing beet chocolate muffin recipes out there, so I recommend finding one of those if you want to use eggs. For the beet puree, we used the smallest grater side of a box grater instead of just blending a puree, so that more kids could be involved hands-on. As it says in the recipe, you can use all sorts of other fruit or veggie purees, instead of the beet puree. I’ve tried applesauce and it was delicious. I’m curious to try pumpkin or squash.

Our version of the recipe: Fudgy Double Chocolate Beet Muffins

Apple crisp: I found it strange using a recipe for apple crisp as I usually just wing it, but here’s the one we used with the classes.

Our version of the recipe: Maple Apple Crisp

Sweet Sesame-Lime Cabbage Salad: I pretty much always have a bowl of coleslaw in the fridge to pack for lunches in the summer and fall. This dressing will join my list of favourite dressings – delicious!

Our version of the recipe: Sweet Sesame-Lime Cabbage Salad



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