Play With Your Food Book

Everyone asks me what my go-to recipes are. Over my years of working with children, I have found some recipes that are kid-approved almost every single time! Whether you are having a party or just want to spend time in the kitchen cooking with your kids here are some yummy recipes that will be sure to fill your tummy while making great memories!


Vegetarian Chilli

I make a delicious vegetarian chili that people don’t even realize is vegetarian! Using Boca Meat, colored peppers, and delicious flavors, this recipe is sure to be a hit. To make it even more fun, have your child prepare tacos from this recipe. You can set up bowls of cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and guacamole. Have your child write down your order (or you can use a sheet to represent the items and have them check off what you do want) and then make your taco. I usually make a bowl of rice, as well. Healthy, delicious, and filling dinner! This full recipe can be found in my book, Play With Your Food.

vegetarian chilli recipe

Homemade Fries

Summer is BBQ season, so let’s make some fun sides to go with it! I make homemade fries out of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and even green squash. You can bake, fry or use bread crumbs. Have your child make different dipping sauces and see which ones they prefer.

-3 Tablespoons Olive oil
-1 and ½ pounds of Yukon potatoes
-1 teaspoon of garlic powder
-1 teaspoon of garlic powder
-¼ onion powder
-¼ ground black pepper
-1 teaspoon of freshly sliced parsley

1.Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2.Place 1 tablespoon of oil over the baking sheet.
3.Wash potatoes and slice them (I leave the skin on but feel free to peel your potatoes).
4.Make sure your potatoes are dry then slice them (I pat them again).
5.Season your potatoes and add the remaining oil.
6.Place in oven for 20 minutes
7.Flip your potatoes carefully and bake for another 10 minutes.

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas is a simple delicious dinner that everyone enjoys. If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute the chicken.

-3 boneless chickens breasts
-1 onion sliced thinly
-1 red bell pepper
-1 yellow bell pepper
-1 green bell pepper
-1 lime
-½ Tablespoon of Chili Powder
-½ Tablespoon of Cumin
-1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
-Salt And Pepper
-Cilantro (optional)
-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1.Heat oil in a pan and place your seasoned chickens in the pan.
2.When it is cooked all the way, put the sliced onion and peppers in the same pan. 
3.Cook for 4-5 minutes.
4.Add the chicken back in the pan with the vegetables.
5.Add lime and brown sugar. 
6.Once it is all cooked, place in tortillas or rice.


Fruit Salad

Summertime is the best time to make a delicious fruit salad. I always call fruit natures candy!! I love a nice colorful fruit salad at the end of a meal. Lots of picky eaters have enjoyed my fruit salad. For the recipe, I use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples and I add ½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. For texture and taste, I add gluten-free mini chocolate chips. The tartness of the orange juice is a great contrast to the sweet fruit! 

children with fruit

Homemade Pesto

This recipe is super easy, quick, and can be used on pasta, sandwiches, potatoes, etc.

-2 cups of fresh basil leaves
-½ cup of Parmesan cheese
-½ cup of Olive Oil
-2 garlic cloves
-1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
-¼ teaspoon of salt
-Pepper to taste

1.Use a food processor or handheld blender to mix walnuts and basil.
2.Add garlic and parmesan cheese. 
3.Add oil slowly then season with pepper and salt.


While there are a lot of different flavors and textures in these recipes, they are simple enough to make with your children. Having them get involved helps them feel more confident and makes them eager to try their creation! 


For more fun tips, check out the rest of my blog or follow me on social media!


For any questions regarding these activities, Occupational Therapy, or my services, you can send me a message or find me on Instagram – @playwithyourfoodbook.

Sarah Appleman MS, OTR/L is the author of “Play With Your Food” and is a specialist in her field. 

Leave a Reply

Font Resize
Call Us Text Us