Ten-year-olds thrive when they feel like participating members of the family. Cooking can provide that sense of independence through tasks like stripping herb leaves, hulling strawberries and measuring and chopping vegetables. Wondering what a 10-year-old can cook for dinner? We have three fun ideas to get your tween started.
But first, teach your child how to navigate the kitchen safely, and always supervise any potentially dangerous steps. At this age, there’s a fine balance between allowing independence and remaining attentive while they learn. Ahead, discover easy recipes for 10-year-olds to make for dinner, along with safety tips:
Pasta With Homemade Pesto
The simplicity is perfect for kids, and manual food processors are user-friendly. Because of the sharp blade, though, adults should supervise pouring ingredients in and handle scooping them out; your tween can handle the cranking when it’s closed.
- A few handfuls of basil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Use a manual food processor to chop and blend half of the basil with garlic, pine nuts, cheese, salt and a little bit of the oil. Add remaining basil and oil and chop again.
- Cook pasta according to the package, reserving a small amount of the cooking water.
- After draining, mix pesto and reserved cooking water, then add pasta.
Safety Tip: Carrying the pot of hot water to the sink is a safety hazard. Kids should wear shoes and do a practice run before it’s warmed to ensure it’s manageable. Pots with two, heat-proof handles are best.
This fun family option allows for variety based on individual tastes. The prep is straightforward and simple enough for kids.
- 12 crispy taco shells
- 1 pound raw chicken tenders
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- A touch of cumin
- 2 cups iceberg lettuce
- Bunch of cilantro
- 1 lime
- 2 avocados
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Optional: fresh black beans, corn or pickled vegetables.
- Season chicken with the spices.
- Bake tenders on a greased pan for 20 minutes at 350°F until no pink remains.
- Slice the avocado and toss it with lettuce, cilantro and lime.
- Set out a plate of taco shells and bowls of chicken, salad, sour cream and other ingredients of your choosing; let everyone assemble their own.
Safety Tip: Teach your tween to open and prepare the raw chicken. Place a plate in the sink and open the chicken package. Place chicken on the plate, then thoroughly wash hands before touching anything else.
This is a favorite recipe for 10-year-olds to make for dinner: It’s fun, easy and a cool chemistry lesson. Start preparation a day early, so the dough has time to rise.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
- One night in advance, sprinkle yeast on top of 3/4 cup warm water. Let sit for about five to 10 minutes.
- Sift salt into flour, then mix with water.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes (push the dough flat, then fold over and repeat), adding more flour if the dough sticks to your hands.
- Put dough in a clean bowl with a lid; place in the fridge.
- The following day, split dough into two or three pieces, and use a rolling pin to flatten them on a baking mat.
- Spread pizza sauce evenly on dough, and add your favorite toppings (like olives, artichoke hearts or pepperoni).
- Bake pizzas at 400°F for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Safety Tip: The pan gets very hot in the oven. Remind your child to use oven mitts when pulling it out and to place it on the stove burners in order to cool and avoid moving it very far.
Why stop at dinner? If your tween chef wants to make breakfast too, try our smoothie recipes.