Living or vacationing in an RV with toddlers can be an interesting and challenging experience. From lunchtime to bath time and everything in between. One of the best ways to bond with your little one in an RV is to cook together. Cooking is a very important part of a toddler’s development for a number of reasons. It teaches them the relationship between raw ingredients and the food they eat, chemistry basics, and instills the idea of weights and measures very early in life. RV Cooking with your toddler is one of the best things you can do as a parent to help them understand the world and become confident grade-schoolers in the near future.
While your little one is not yet up to handling hot pans or keeping eggshells out of a mix, they can help you with all sorts of safe kitchen tasks like measuring, pouring, stirring, and watching a timer.
One of the most important things about RV life with your toddler is what you choose to cook. Naturally, you want simple recipes that are not only delicious and easy to make but are also made from simple, wholesome ingredients that are good for your little ones inside and out. Today, we’ve got three great lunch or dinner RV cooking options that you can enjoy together with your toddler using natural ingredients.
3 Healthy Recipes for Your RV Cooking
Fresh Pizza Cups
Almost every child in the world loves pizza, but you don’t have to make a full-sized pie for the same delicious and potentially healthy meal. With the clever application of a muffin pan, you can make convenient hand-sized pizza cups that are just as easy to store and pack in lunches as they are to make and eat at the dinner table. Set the oven to 375 F and gather ingredients.
- Ball of whole-wheat pizza dough
- If your grocery store doesn’t sell pizza dough, home-made dough or canned dough can work
- Jar of healthy pizza or pasta sauce
- Or home-made sauce from fresh organic tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary
- Bag low-fat shredded mozzarella
- Organic toppings of choice
Start by greasing the pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Grease the top of the pan as well as the cups to make removal easier. Separate the dough into smaller balls and give them to your toddler to shape into circles that should be about the size of your palm. Press the dough circles into the muffin tin to create dough cups. Let your toddler spoon one to two tablespoons of sauce into each cup. Add a toddler-handful of toppings and a handful of cheese to each cup and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Charge your toddler with watching the timer and announcing when it’s two minutes to time.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken soup is one of those great wholesome recipes you can make with almost anything in the kitchen. This is an awesome recipe to make from fresh ingredients or to craft out of leftovers when all else fails. And toddlers love chicken noodles. When RV cooking with your little one, you can even slip in more fresh organic veggies than usual because it’s exciting for children to add ingredients to the soup. Here’s how to do it:
- Pot of simmering water
- 1-2 fresh or frozen chicken breasts
- 1-2 cups dry whole-grain noodles of choice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped or shredded fresh veggies to taste
Salt the water and start it simmering. Do not bring it to a full boil while your toddler is on the counter. If the chicken is frozen, drop it in early while you chop the vegetables. If fresh, chop then add. Talk to your child about the veggies and let them make a few choices while you wield the knife or grater. Help your toddler measure in the dry pasta, then each veggie ingredient one at a time. Identify how much is in the measuring cup and pour it in together slowly. Let them shake in the dry spices (it’s hard to have too much oregano).
For frozen chicken, pull it from the water and chop once thawed, and then add the chicken pieces back into the soup. Pop a lid on the simmering soup and turn it up to a boil for at least ten minutes. Once again, this is a good chance to teach your toddler to tell time.
Finally, tostadas are a lot like pizzas only smaller and pan-fried. If your little one likes crunchy foods, a tostada is the perfect mix between a sandwich and a burrito and can be eaten in tasty little triangles piled with good healthy food. Tostadas are great because your little one can do every part except pull the final product out of the pan with a spatula. If you chop your fresh ingredients ahead of time, tostadas can be made almost instantly from Tupperware containers.
- Stack of tortillas
- Olive oil
- Diced cooked chicken
- Can of refried or black beans
- Diced fresh tomatoes
- Bag of Mexican blend cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- Taco veggies to taste
- Jar of organic salsa if desired
Start by setting a medium frying pan on the stove with a dollop of olive oil. Set the heat to medium-low and spread the oil over the surface of the pan. Invite your toddler to throw on a tortilla and then cover it with a thin layer of cheese. They can then sprinkle a layer of chicken, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and any veggies your family likes on a taco.
Top with a final sprinkle of cheese and wait until the tortilla gets firm and lightly crispy on the bottom. Pull, cut into triangles, and give one to your little one to enjoy as the second tortilla goes into the pan. Load, toast, repeat. You may also need to add more oil to the pan between toasting tortillas to prevent sticking.
Bond with Your Toddlers with a Fun RV Cooking Activity
RV cooking with your toddlers is a fantastic way to spend time together and teach your toddler the importance of fresh meals cooked at home. Your toddler will learn to recognize vegetables, measure ingredients, and gain an understanding of what goes into making all their favorite foods.
There’s nothing more fun than getting to eat the results of all your hard worth together. So try these three dishes and many more when planning healthy family-friendly lunches for your next RV family adventure.