How to Get the Kids Cooking for Father's Day

There's no better gift than a home-cooked meal, snack, or treat.

Father's Day is one of those holidays where homemade anything runs high on the list of appreciated gifts. That's why it's worth corralling the kids and having your team make or bake something that does triple-duty: It's a fun Father's Day activity, a display of love and affection, and a meal (or snack or dessert) all rolled into one.


Snack Mix

For the dad who likes to enjoy his day relaxing and snacking on tidbits here and there, make the Father's Day cooking project a snack. Try a soft pretzels to go with a favorite beer, or even nachos for a family game or movie. Older children who like to cook can pull together simple recipes more dependent on measurement and assembly lightly supervised. The youngest of helpers can tackle tasks like stirring or measuring and adding dry ingredients.


Sweet Treats

Fathers with a hankering for dessert and baked goods are the easiest to please: a bit of baking sorcery-like a free-form galette-is bound to appeal to both the little bakers and the dad who gets a big slice. For dads who love the classics, try a good wildcard—cookies are sure to tempt dad. No-baking-required icebox cakes are ideal for the season, and most are quick and easy to pull together-any age works supervised, and young cooks may be able to tackle the whole recipe after a quick read-through.


'Wich Craft

An over-the-top sandwich may be just what some dads crave. If the dad in your household is one, he'll appreciate the special status of sandwiches like a fried shrimp po' boy or a Sloppy Joe with Vietnamese influences. Or maybe sliders are his favorite? Little kids will enjoy assembling the sandwiches, while older ones can tackle simple cooking tasks. Deep-frying shrimp is best reserved for adults or the most experienced of younger cooks (with supervision).


Full Meal Deals

If your kids are older or have honed their cooking skills, have them tackle (or help them to tackle) a multi-step recipe for a meal that will leave bellies full and hearts happy. Complicated tasks like making the biscuits for sausage and gravy, are a good job for keen young bakers, or make them yourself. And for many-layered recipes like lasagna, act as project manager to make sure nothing is forgotten. A hearty meatloaf is a good task for an adventurous young cook, the trickiest step is remembering to wash hands after shaping the meat!

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