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Take a Look at Cooking

Ever wonder how your mom or dad puts dinner together with no problem? Or how a chef on TV can make something delicious without getting the food all over the place?

If you want to grow up to be a star in the kitchen, start now by learning some basics about cooking.

  • Always get an adult's permission before you use the kitchen. If your recipe uses the stove, oven, a knife, or other kitchen appliances, you will need an adult assistant.
  • Before you start, read the recipe from beginning to end. It helps to read it more than once, so you're sure you understand it. If you're not sure, ask an adult.
  • Do you have the right ingredients? Utensils, like measuring spoons or a whisk? Appliances, like an electric mixer?
  • Check the clock and make sure you have enough time to make the recipe. Consider the time you'll need to set up, mix your ingredients, cook or bake your recipe, and clean up.
  • Before you start, put your ingredients in one place. Some chefs like to measure out each ingredient ahead of time before cooking.
  • Pull out the utensils, measuring cups, and spoons you'll be using and keep them handy so you won't need to run all over the kitchen.
  • Make sure you understand kitchen safety. Cooking is no fun if someone gets hurt or sick.

The Best Kinds of Recipes

When you're thinking about what to make, remember that simple recipes are the best. That's why you might want to start with recipes just for kids.

Recipes for kids should:

  • be clear and easy to follow
  • contain ingredients that are easy to find
  • give you an idea of how long it will take
  • make a small number of servings (portions of the food you're making)
  • be something that you want to eat

Where to Find Recipes

If you're looking for recipes, consider these sources:

  • kids' cookbooks
  • kids' magazines
  • newspapers
  • food packages (the packaging or label may have a recipe that uses the food inside the package)
  • your friends
  • your family
  • websites like this one

Creative Kids in the Kitchen

Once you've tried some kid-friendly recipes, you might want to:

  • Try some grown-up recipes that aren't too hard. Start slow: Remember to check out your recipe and get help if you need it.
  • Learn to use herbs and spices like oregano or parsley. You can even grow your own.
  • Get artistic. You might use vegetables to turn your pizza into a smiley face or learn to decorate a cake.
  • Focus on a favorite food and become really good at it. You could be the master of muffins or the queen of zucchini.
  • Try recipes from different cultures or ethnicities. Where would you like to go? Make a dish from that part of the world.
  • Invent your own recipes and trying them out on family and friends. Maybe you'll come up with a world-class recipe of your own!

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2010

Kids Health

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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