12 Easy Mother’s Day Recipes You Can Make with Your Kids

These dead-simple dishes will take you from breakfast to dinner—and keep the kids busy along the way.

By Fatima Khawaja

Published on May 10, 2024

If you’re a mom, the last thing you probably want to do on Mother’s Day is be in the kitchen, especially with your kids, but hear me out. As a chef, I already spend more time in the kitchen than the average person, but it feels different when my daughter’s by my side. The cooking process may be slower and messier, but it’s also fun and educational. The key is to stick with something simple. By simple, I mean recipes that don’t involve a ton of prep (no chopping, searing, or anything precarious) or cleanup—the goal is minimal effort, high reward for me and my little one (smoothies totally count as cooking together!). The following recipes fit the bill perfectly: they’re easy, adaptable crowd favorites that kids of all ages and skill levels can make with just a little adult supervision. And that adult doesn’t have to be mom! No matter who’s in the kitchen with the kids, just make sure the menu includes something she’s craving—it is Mother’s Day, after all.

Kelly Campbell

A classic for a reason! Kids will love baking and eating these, guaranteed, so get your cupcake liners out and gather your ingredients (you probably already have most of them in your pantry). Finished with a light dusting of sugar rather than a fussy streusel, these muffins make for an easy-like-Sunday-morning breakfast. Get the recipe >

Laura Sant

Make the shrub in advance (it needs to sit for an hour and a half), and this fruit salad will come together in no time. It’s a low-lift project to start first thing in the morning (kids will love smashing the berries). Once the shrub is ready, it’s just a matter of tossing the tart syrup with your favorite ripe berries and plenty of fresh mint. Get the recipe >

Photo: Andrew Bui • Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Smoothies are a no-brainer for making with kids. Incredibly versatile and quick, they’re the easiest addition to the Mother’s Day menu. This recipe calls for banana and mango in addition to fresh turmeric, but feel free to blitz it up with any ripe fruit you have on hand. Get the recipe >

Photo: Andrew Bui • Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

Somewhere between a pancake and a crêpe, these vegan chickpea-based cheelas can easily be customized to each family member’s taste with different mix-ins (try spinach or cheese). The batter comes together quickly in just one bowl, making it a breeze to pull off with children. Get the recipe >

Photo: Linda Pugliese • Food Styling: Christine Albano • Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

The secret ingredients in these ultra-fluffy flapjacks? Yogurt and a splash of seltzer. Whisking up the batter is a piece of cake. Tasks for the kids include sifting the dry ingredients and topping the pancakes with blueberries (let them get creative—nothing says “Happy Mother’s Day” like “MOM” spelled out in blueberries!). Get the recipe >

Michelle Heimerman

Mother’s Day arrives just as early-season tomatoes start appearing at farmers markets across the country. Task the kids with marinating cherry tomatoes the night before Mother’s Day or the morning of, then pair the plump beauties with creamy burrata and crusty bread for a satisfying brunch or dinner. Get the recipe >

Helen Rosner

Kids love cheesy pasta, adults love cheesy pasta, so just make cheesy pasta! Let little ones crack the black pepper (and control how much heat they add to their portion) and older kids grate the cheese. Whip up the dish for Mother’s Day, then be sure to add this Roman classic to your weeknight rotation—it doesn’t need a special occasion. Get the recipe >

Romulo Yanes

A recipe that breathes new life into leftover rice and keeps the children busy? Talk about a win-win! Kids can mix up the vinegar sauce while you fry up the rice and eggs for this hearty Filipino-inspired breakfast dish. Get the recipe >

Saveur Selects

If you’re looking for a mostly hands-off, high-reward recipe, you can’t do better than a classic roast chicken. Have the kids help prep the bird—they're sure to delight in slathering the exterior with butter—then let the oven do the heavy lifting. Get the recipe >

Photo: Linda Pugliese • Food Stylist: Mariana Velasquez • Prop Stylist: Elvis Maynard

I like to think of this baked cod recipe as grown-up fish sticks. Kids can help pick herbs and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the fish. The best part? They’ll get to enjoy the fruits of their labor almost immediately—this dish takes just 20 minutes from start to finish. Get the recipe >

Matt Taylor-Gross

Forget about the instant stuff and treat yourself and the kiddos to the ultimate homemade hot chocolate. A pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg adds extra verve to the decadent base of cocoa powder and milk chocolate. Get the recipe >

Majed Ali

Studded with toasted pecans and sticky-soft medjool dates, these cookies are so much more memorable than the usual chocolate chip variety you find at the kids’ table. The little ones will love scooping the dough almost as much as they enjoy devouring the finished treats. Get the recipe >

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