Getting kids involved in the kitchen at a young age will help instill a love of food that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives. Ask just about any food lover, home cook or chef where their penchant for cooking comes from and more often than not it will stem from growing up in the kitchen, side by side with their parents or grandparents. The tasks might be small, but the lessons are big. Here are five dishes your family will not only enjoy eating, but will also love putting together as a team.

Big Batch Bacon Mac & Cheese Casserole

With loads of rich, cheesy sauce and salty bacon goodness, this hearty mac and cheese recipe is a winner with the whole family. Even better, it serves 12, which means there will be lots of leftovers for everyone’s lunch the next day. Little hands can help top the casserole with cooled bacon bits and extra cheese before you slide it into the oven for an hour.

Creamy No-Cook Avocado Sauce

Creamy and fresh tasting, this sauce is a quick update for your pasta night and a nice break from traditional tomato sauce. Bonus: The sauce comes together in the food processor, saving you time and mess. Once the sauce is finished, transfer to a bowl and let the kids mix in the feta and toss the sauce with the cooked pasta.

Make-Ahead Chicken Burritos
With green onions, salsa and grated cheese, Make-Ahead Chicken Burritos have enough flavour to please the adults, but aren’t too spicy for the kids. Plus, these freeze-ahead burritos make a terrific grab-and-go lunch or a no-fuss weeknight supper. If you’re tight on time, use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for the filling. Kids can help grate the cheese and roll the burritos.

Beef, Bok Choy & Red Pepper Stir Fry
Everybody loves the flavour, colour and crunch of a Stir-Fry – especially kids! They’ll appreciate the sweetness from the red pepper and carrot in this recipe. Give them a small paring knife (and supervise them closely) to slice up baby carrots, baby bok choy and red pepper (don’t tell them, but this is nearly all the work). Now all you have to do is toss the veggies in a skillet along with beef and stir-fry sauce, and dinner is on the table in minutes.

Madeover French Toast with Spiced Pears
Cinnamon and honey add warmth to this rich brunch favourite, which makes it the perfect way to start the weekend. Baked in the oven instead of pan-fried, our French toast recipe gives you time to assemble fruit and yogourt for a complete family meal. Kids can slice fresh fruit and berries into a bowl and set the table for breakfast.