My kids are 12 and 14 and pretty ridiculous in the kitchen. It’s a bit absurd, really, that someone who makes her living creating and writing recipes has 2 kids who really cannot hold their own in the kitchen.
I’m thinking it’s because maybe I enjoy it too much. I’ve never really felt like it’s a chore or something I need to pawn off on someone. I also really enjoy it as a solitary hobby.
Once my husband or someone tries to join me in the dinner prep, it starts feeling more like a chore to me. But when I’m in there on my own and can just zone out, I love it!
But I’m doing my best to get past that. It’s scary to think that my son could potentially be out of this house in 4 years and calling home every time he wants scrambled eggs! I don’t enjoy cooking that much that I want to get that call!
My daughter is loads better in the kitchen than he is, but still has a long way to go! So I do my best to try to get them more involved. They’ve been helping me with cutting up veggies for dinner, reading me the ingredients I need from recipes and sometimes even managing to make an entire recipe from start to finish by themselves!!
Seriously, I know this is something lots of kids have mastered long before 12 and 14, but just be happy for us. I have set my kids up for success in many areas of life, and fell way short in the kitchen. We all have flaws, right??
And my kids have even been in the kitchen here and there since they were toddlers, so it’s not like we haven’t been working at this. We do Fend for Yourself Nights where they’re in charge of shopping and cooking. Maybe I’m being dramatic about it. Maybe it’s possible they’re better than I’m giving them credit for! Just maybe…
One of the recipes that they don’t mind making is these Ranch Oyster Crackers! I discovered the secret to getting them to help and that’s dangling a recipe in front of them that is their kryptonite.
That happens to be these crackers for both of them. They ask for them. They beg for them. And if they want them then they have to make them.
This recipe is perfect for kids just learning how to navigate their way around a kitchen for a few reasons:
- You don’t have to worry about being precise with measurements. If they dump a little extra garlic powder or don’t fill the measuring cup up with oil the whole way… it’s absolutely no big deal and you will never know!
- There are only a few ingredients so they won’t feel overwhelmed!
- It can be enjoyed as soon as it is finished since we all know kids don’t have a lot of patience!
- It bakes at 225, so the oven isn’t nearly as hot as most recipes require.
Ranch Oyster Crackers
- 4 9 oz. bags of oyster crackers
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning mix
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. lemon pepper
- 2 tsp. dill weed
Preheat oven to 225.
Spread all the oyster crackers on a large cookie sheet. In a small bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour evenly over crackers. Stir crackers until they're all well-coated.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Bake for another 20 minutes.
If you’re looking to get your kids involved in the meal prep even more, I put together a little ebook that explains our process. It shares how we approach our Fend for Yourself Nights, meal ideas and 10 recipes that are easy enough for kids of any ages to make! It’s only $4.99 so less than the cost of one meal!
And don’t forget to pin this post… or better yet, print it out so your kids can get to work right away!
Other easy recipes you and your kids will enjoy making together: