Do you panic when you think of letting your kids loose in the kitchen? Many parents say yes and for good reasons. It can be messy (so. very. messy.), and there are plenty of potentially dangerous tools and appliances within reach.

Instead of worrying about everything that could go wrong, imagine everything that could go right! Kids who roll up their sleeves and help in the kitchen may become more independent and self-confident. Working with recipes can improve kids’ math skills and their ability to follow instructions. Also, kids who get involved in cooking may be more likely to try new foods, as well as include a healthy variety of foods in their diet.

So go ahead, let your kids get in the kitchen! “Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day,” celebrated annually on September 13, presents the perfect opportunity. To help your family ease into the celebration, NKCH Registered Dietitians have provided recipes for a delicious dinner and a tasty dessert the whole family will enjoy. Yes, it will probably get messy, but your kids will be super proud! Kick back and let them take care of everything (well, except maybe the oven, depending on their age).

Ham and Pineapple Pizza on English Muffin

Makes 1 serving


Ham and Pineapple Pizza on English Muffin1 whole wheat muffin, split in half
2 Tbsps. marinara sauce
2 Tbsps. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 slices deli ham, chopped
2 Tbsps. canned pineapple tidbits, well drained
1 Tbsp. chopped red onion (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (toaster oven works fine).
  2. Line baking sheet with foil and spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Toast the English muffin lightly, and remove it from the oven.
  4. Spread 1 Tbsp. of sauce on each muffin half, and place the muffin halves on your prepared baking pan.
  5. Distribute the cheese, ham, pineapple and onion evenly over the muffin halves.
  6. Put baking sheet in the oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until heated through.

Nutrition Estimates per Serving: 230 calories, 4.5 g fat, 34 g carbohydrates, 6.5 g fiber, 17 g protein

Source of inspiration: Hungry Girl 1-2-3

Toaster Oven S’mores

Makes 6 servings


Toaster Oven S’mores6 graham crackers
3 large marshmallows
6 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped


  1. Use clean scissors or a knife to cut each marshmallow into 2 halves.
  2. Heat oven to low broil.
  3. Put graham crackers in the center of a cookie sheet about 1/2″ apart from each other.
  4. Top each graham cracker with a marshmallow, placing the cut/sticky side down.
  5. Put cookie sheet with marshmallow-topped graham crackers under broiler (turn oven light on if you have one). DON’T WALK AWAY. Watch them closely as they will toast quickly.
  6. Allow to toast until golden, rotating pan with oven mitt as needed.
  7. Once golden, immediately remove from oven, and place 1 Kiss in the center of each toasted marshmallow, pressing down gently.  For best results, serve warm, just like a real S’more.

Source of inspiration: Cooking Classy