Kid-Friendly Food

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Kids Cooking
13 Dec 2007
.Please note: fresh fruit and vegetables need to be inspected for insect infestation. Please consult our guide

imageExperts agree that getting kids into the kitchen teaches them math through measurements, nutrition through food selection, and independence through increased skills – all with the added bonus of parents and children spending time together, creating special memories and bonds.

Cookbook author Susie Fishbein designed 80 kid-friendly recipes for children ages 10 and older in her cookbook Kosher by Design: Kids in the Kitchen (Mesorah Publications). She includes helpful guidelines to indicate the degree of difficulty and younger kids can definitely manage many of the recipes with some help. The recipes are simple enough to give a child confidence in his or her ability to turn out great-tasting snacks, meals, drinks and desserts. The recipes are for real foods that the whole family will want to cook and eat.

As with her hugely successful cookbooks Kosher by Design and Kosher by Design Entertains Susie’s book features the fabulous photos, flavors, and user-friendly style that her readers love. This recipe collection makes an ideal Chanukah gift and is also great any time of the year. It will inspire both parents and kids to get in the kitchen and get cooking, and will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

“The recipes in my book are for real food, nothing silly like gummy worms crawling out of cookie crumbs,” says Susie. “They are foods that kids universally love as well as some starter ideas for simple meals. The concept of the book is to challenge kids and to inspire them to want to cook more.”

Cooking with her four children has given Susie first-hand experience in kids’ needs, abilities and most importantly, their desires to be active participants in the kitchen. There are separate equipment lists and ingredient lists to help adults delegate the tasks of gathering everything that is needed to cook. The easy-to-follow directions are age-appropriate. Each recipe is paired with a mouth-watering photo that take the guesswork out of what the finished dish should look like. There are helpful photos of various cooking tools. Susie also includes directions on the practice of keeping a kosher kitchen.

Crunchy French Toast Sticks (Dairy)

Makes 6 sticks

This recipe makes enough for 1 or 2 people. If you want to make it for more, just double the ingredients. When it comes time to cooking the French Toast Sticks, make one batch and then carefully wipe out the pan. Let the pan cool and start by melting fresh butter for a second batch. If you keep reusing the same pan, the old butter will burn.

Equipment List:



  1. Break the eggs into a medium bowl. With a whisk, whip the eggs with the heavy cream or milk. Set the bowl aside
  2. Place the cornflake crumbs and crisp rice cereal onto a plate. Blend them together with your fingers
  3. On your cutting board, with a sharp knife, slice each piece of bread into 3 strips
  4. Pick up one of the pieces of bread. Dip it into the egg mixture, coating both sides
  5. Roll it into the cereal mixture, coating it on all sides
  6. Repeat with the other 5 strips of bread
  7. Place the butter into a large frying pan. Turn the heat to low
  8. When the butter is melted, add the 6 french toast sticks
  9. When they are golden brown, flip them over with a spatula

Serve with pancake or maple syrup.

Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies (Dairy or Pareve)

Yields 30 cookies

This is a really good chocolate chip cookie with a little extra crunch.

Equipment list:

Ingredient list:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside
  3. Place the butter or margarine in a microwave-safe bowl and a microwave it for 45 seconds to melt it. You can also melt it in a small pot over medium heat
  4. Pour the melted butter or margarine into a medium mixing bowl
  5. Add the sugar and brown sugar
  6. With an electric mixer, beat until fluffy
  7. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth
  8. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine
  9. With a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the crisp rice cereal and chocolate chips. Stir the batter until it is all combined
  10. Using a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon, scoop out mounds of dough and place them on the prepared cookie sheet
  11. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes
  12. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven. Allow cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes. Remove the cookies with a metal spatula to a rack to cool completely
  13. Repeat until all of the dough is used up.

For most parents, getting their kids to eat vegetables is a challenge. When my son Doug was very young, he refused to eat vegetables. All he ate was white food, including chicken breasts (especially made into chicken fingers), noodles in all shapes and sizes, rice, mashed potatoes, and matzo balls. When I would make a recipe that included vegetables, Doug would say “Put it in the food processor and make those vegetables disappear!” Today, my son Doug is a chef and food photographer and he cooks, eats and photographs vegetables on a regular basis.

History has a way of repeating itself. Doug’s two-year old son Sammy is a picky eater. Like his dad, he also loves noodles, but not just any noodles. His favorite kind is macaroni, which he’ll eat sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or topped with tomato sauce. (Luckily, tomato sauce counts as a vegetable!) Sam might eat raw mini carrots or miniature Israeli cucumbers cut into rounds, as long as they’re dipped in creamy Caesar dressing. But more often than not, Sammy licks off the dressing and throws away the veggies! His parents sigh and exclaim, “What Sammy will eat depends on his mood of the moment – and his mood changes from moment to moment!” Sammy does like zucchini, especially in these latkes which are also yummy made with carrots. The recipe comes from his Bubby Norene’s best-selling cookbook, The Food Processor Bible (Whitecap).

Carrot (or Zucchini) Latkes (Pareve)

Yields about 16 to 18 pancakes or 5 dozen miniatures.

Different and delicious! Minis make great appetizers and appeal to little appetites.



  1. Grater: Cut carrots to fit feed tube. Grate, using medium pressure. Measure 2 cups. (proceed to step 3)
  2. Steel Blade: Process onion until fine, 6 to 8 seconds. Add remaining ingredients except oil. Process until blended, about 15 seconds.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet
  4. Drop carrot mixture from a spoon into hot oil and flatten patties with the back of the spoon
  5. Brown on medium heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil if necessary
  6. Drain well on paper towels.

Freezes well.

Variation: Replace carrots with 3 medium zucchini. After grating, salt zucchini lightly and let stand for 15 minutes. Press out excess moisture.

Super Foods for Babies and Children (Atria Books), by Annabel Karmel, is an excellent resource, with more than 130 kid-friendly recipes plus terrific tips on nutrition for each stage of your child’s development. The pictures are whimsical and provide visual aids to enticing eats. Annabel Karmel knows what children should eat – and what they will eat.

Eating by color encourages parents to use foods in tempting combinations. Karmel provides easy instructions for creating balanced meals, with menu charts to help you plan ahead, suggestions for healthy convenience foods to keep on hand and information on allergies and common childhood complaints.

Super Foods for Babies and Children will guide you through your child’s first five years, from first foods for your baby to delicious meals for fussy toddlers. There are creative lunch-box ideas for school children, snack suggestions, scrumptious family meal ideas, plus tips on getting kids into the kitchen to help with meal preparation. Almost all of the recipes can be used or adapted easily by the Kosher cook.

Recipes include Tomato Sauce with Hidden Vegetables, Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni, Salmon Teriyaki with Noodles and Rabbit Muffins – fun foods that will appeal to kids of all ages. Here are two excellent recipes to sneak some nutrition onto your child’s plate.

Finger-Picking Chicken Balls (Meat)

Yields 20 chicken balls

These tasty chicken balls make great finger food.



  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute half the onion and the grated carrot for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
  2. Using your hands, squeeze out a little excess liquid from the grated apple
  3. Mix together the grated apple, chicken and sauteed onion and carrot along with the raw chopped onion, parsley, thyme, bread crumbs and bouillon cube and chop for a few seconds in a food processor
  4. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  5. With your hands, form the mixture into about 20 balls, roll them in flour and fry in a little oil until lightly golden and cooked through (4 to 5 minutes).

Tip: Chicken is high in protein, low in fat and low in cholesterol. Our bodies require a certain amount of protein each day and the body does not store protein, so we need to replenish it each day. Protein provides the building blocks of all cells.

Mini Vegetable Burgers (Dairy)

Yields 15 mini burgers

These tasty mini burgers in a crispy coating are bursting with fresh vegetables and flavored with Gruyère cheese.



  1. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 25 to 30 minutes, then peel and grate
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter and sauté the onion for about 3 minutes
  3. Add the broccoli, carrot, leek, and mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Add the grated potato, corn, soy sauce, cheese, parsley, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste
  5. Form the mixture into 15 mini burgers, coat with flour, dip in the beaten egg, and then dip in the bread crumbs
  6. Dip in the egg once again and then coat with another layer of breadcrumbs to make a crispy coating for the burgers
  7. Sauté in a small amount of oil in a skillet until crisp and golden on both sides

Serve on their own or in mini buns with a little lettuce and ketchup.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.