Build Your Own Recipes for Kids (with Clean Up Tips Too!)

by Janice

When it comes to their food, kids like to feel in control. Giving children, especially picky eaters, choices about their meals allows them to feel good about what they are eating and have fun and get creative.

Recipes for Kids

With these simple “build your own recipes” for kids, you can make meal time fun and help your kids make healthy food choices. And since we know cooking with kids can get extra messy, we have some quick clean up tips for you too.

The Kids are in Charge with these “Build Your Own Recipes”

The goal of these recipe ideas is to let your kids choose the ingredients to design their own meal. There are a myriad of variations for you to offer up for your children and you certainly don’t have to (or want to) offer them all the first time. Choose ingredients that would work well together and offer enough options to let your kids have some choices, but not so many that they are overwhelmed.

Build Your Own Wrap

From peanut butter and jam to cream cheese and avocados, wraps regularly replace sandwiches in our home. Wraps are versatile, fast, and easy to make — and whether you are creating a full meal salad wrap for yourself, or a quick apple and cheese wrap for your kids, wraps can save the day!

recipes for kids-wraps

The variations are endless, but here are a few of our favorite starter wrap ideas…

Cream cheese (Plain, Herb and Garlic, Strawberry, etc.)
Peanut butter (or other nut butters)
Salad Dressing or Dip
Butter or Margarine

Seeds, Nuts, or Dried Fruits

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins

    Fresh Fruit or Vegetables

  • Cucumbers
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears

    Cheese, Meat, or Eggs

  • Grated cheddar or mozzarella
  • Crumbled feta
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • For More Ideas, including…

    • Build Your Own Smoothie
    • Build Your Own Fruit Crisp
    • Quick Clean Up Tips

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    Written by Susan and Janice of 5 Minutes for Mom
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    Email Author    |    Website About Janice

    Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at

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    { 26 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Snotty Noses March 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Such a good idea. I often find that when I present my kids with a variety of healthy options they pick out and eat something. If I just give them one healthy thing, it often gets refused! Would be great to try with pancakes too (the flat variety rather than the breakfast kind.)


    2 Clumsy Muffin March 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Have you ever tried adding greek yogurt in your wrap recipe? Greek yogurt is strained so it has less moisture (hello, creamy!). I use it instead of sour cream in a dip and in wraps. My kids love it.


    3 Erin Ellis March 23, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Building your own wrap is such a great idea! My girls would love it.


    4 Shannon Leigh March 23, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Wonderful idea. Perhaps involving them in prep will encourage them to eat more nutritious food.


    5 Kristin March 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Yummm, so many great ideas!


    6 Pam March 27, 2014 at 11:42 am

    We do this all the time – it’s almost guaranteed to get my kids to eat way more than if I just served the meal. Here is probably our favorite version – Mexican Night:


    7 Bonnie Way March 27, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    These are GREAT ideas! My oldest is a very picky eater but she loves to “help” in the kitchen so I’m going to try these with her! Thanks so much for sharing.


    8 Linda Stewart March 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Definitely something I will have to look further into. It only makes sense that if you build recipes with kids in mind, and allow them to help out, they are more likely to eat and enjoy them.


    9 samantha Wagner March 30, 2014 at 12:08 am

    These are some great recipes. My kids love helping me in the kitchen.


    10 Shawna March 30, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Great post and ideas! I’m definitely going to be doing this with my boys as they enjoy helping in the kitchen and I love them eating healthy meals!


    11 Barbara Platt March 31, 2014 at 3:23 am

    love these recipes, it looks fun and so good


    12 Migdalia - March 31, 2014 at 6:59 am

    I love these recipe ideas for kids! I’ve always believed children need to learn cooking skills- it’s an important life skill that will save them money on their health & take-out. It’s also a great bonding opportunity. My sons and I have more memories around the kitchen table thn I can name!



    13 Meagan bs April 1, 2014 at 10:42 am

    These are so fun, I should do something like this with my daughter :) she loves to help me cook, I bet she would love this too.


    14 Cheryl Free April 2, 2014 at 5:50 am

    I think it’s important for children to learn about food and cooking at an early age. This is a great start!


    15 Veronica V April 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Great ideas! I don’t have children yet but this is a fun idea when my nephew comes over.


    16 RICHARD HICKS April 3, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I like it. Great way to get them involved with preparing food and having fun doing it.


    17 Linda Meyers-Gabbard April 7, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Awesome. This is a great way to get your kids involved in nutrition. Teaching independence in the kitchen. Learning how to prepare food will stay with them into adulthood.


    18 Dana Rodriguez April 8, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I don’t have any little ones but these are great ideas!


    19 Betsy Barnes April 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    What a wonderful way to encourage kids to be creative in the kitchen! My son loved helping me cook when he was younger, he was really good at it too :)


    20 Sky Evans April 8, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I love this creativity; it’s so nice.


    21 anna April 9, 2014 at 10:14 am

    nice idea – got to do with my kids!


    22 laurie April 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    this sounds like fun most kids would love this their always wanting to cook or help you cook


    23 RICHARD HICKS April 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    This is great for those picky eaters. Let them make their own dish to eat!


    24 Lisha April 10, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Love this idea. Would love to see what the kids put together on their own!


    25 Jamie Hamilton April 10, 2014 at 9:02 am

    I think it’s important for the children to be hands on with helping prepare food. It makes them feel good and also helps build life skills.


    26 Buddy Garrett April 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Getting kids involved in food preparation is a great way to encourage healthy eating habits.


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