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Cooking for Kids!

Tips and tricks for feeding those LITTLE HUMANS!
(Tips and advice, links to recipes, and jokes to impress those kids too)

(Whether you are cooking for a Father and Son banquet, a summer camp of girl guides 
or a high school marching band, this page is for you!)

Allergies: When cooking meals for kids, be aware of allergies.  
Allergies are more prevalent today than in years past.  
Common allergies are:

Have alternatives available for those with allergies.  
 If you are cooking for a large groups of children, make sure you have
 a food allergy information sheet filled out and signed by the parents. 
It's your job to know who is allergic to what. 
Children don't always want to avoid what they are allergic to, 
they want to fit in and be like the other kids.

Vegetarian  Diets:  Vegetarian means no meat, fish or poultry products (nothing with a face), 
Vegan means no animal products including dairy products.  Have alternate meals for those children.  
(More info About Vegetarian Meal Planning)

Feeding Teens: Teens eat LOTS!  Plan on larger than normal serving sizes and even a 4th meal such as a hearty evening snack.

Balanced Diet: Make sure you are following proper food guides and serving enough fruit and vegetables, and dairy products each day.  
TIP: Limit the amount of sweet drinks, provide a jug(s) of fresh ice water on each table with each meal (and milk) and do not provide other beverages until the water has been consumed, this helps prevents dehydration and promotes good health.


Fresh Fruit (oranges and bananas cut into chunks)
Cold cereals and Milk
French Toast, made the night before and baked
Scrambled eggs with sausages or bacon 
Easy Hash Browns
Breakfast Burritos


Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Hot dogs
Raw Veggies and Dip
Chicken Confetti Wraps



Chicken Legs
Easy Hash Browns 
"Spaghetti" made with rotini
Roast Turkey Dinner


Hot Chocolate

A camp style salad bar will have those kids more than willing to 'eat their veggies'.  Who wouldn't want a piece of delicious pizza, it's ready to slide into the oven!

The above photos are courtesy of Chef  Steve Karoly, who cooked terrific meals at the
2002 Northern California Florida College Camp opening night dinner.

More resources with recipes for Kids
[ USDA Recipes for Schools ] [ Beef Recipes ]
[ Institutional Recipes for Kids ]  [ Land O Lakes Recipes
[ Cooking with Preschoolers ] [Uncle Bens Rice]
[ Berry Recipes for Schools ] [ Growlies Food Service Links ]
[ Turkey, search for school ] [ School Nutritional Association ] [ Potato Recipes ]
[ Growlies Serves 50 ]  [Growlies Serves 100 ]  [ Canadian Military Recipes ]
[ Growlies Food Safe Info]

How To Make Your Dining Hall work FOR You

Dining Hall Procedures - used at a Scouting Camp

  1.  All Scouts will enter the dining hall with their arms folded.
  2.  All hats will be off and the scouts mouths will be closed.
  3.  The scouts will stand behind their seat until grace has been sung.
  4. The "hoppers" will get up and get the hot food.

Hoppers (set up and clean up, fetch and carry)

  •  The hoppers are the 2 people at the table who arrive 15 min before a meal and they set the table with silverware, plates cups napkins and cold food. Only 2 knives per table, this eliminates sword fights!
  •  Hoppers come up to the counter to pick up the hot food after grace has been sung.
  •  During the meal hoppers are the ones who hop up and get milk or extra napkins for their table.

Dining Hall clean up

  • Hoppers not only set up for the meal but they clean up also. All of our food left on the table must be put into the trash. We do not have a garbage disposal. B. Hoppers clean off the tables with rags and a solution of sanitizer.
  • Hoppers sweep under and around their tables with a broom and pick up with a dust pan.
  • After they think they have finished they must be released from the dining hall by cook in charge. All of this cleaning is done after the other campers have been released
  • This frees up the kitchen staff to do dishes and get the kitchen in order so they can start to prepare another meal. Kitchen staff should cook, not clean the dining hall. We are teaching the children responsibility of their actions and they become more careful how they eat. A lot of these ideas come from my camp not all of them are strictly mine. Another hint I would like to pass on to novice cooks is to wear Gel sole insoles in their shoes. It makes standing on concrete much easier. Alice

And here's your secret source to some wonderful Jokes for Kids 
[Audience Participation Games] [ Camping Recipes]  [Skits and Songs]

And Just for Fun:


"Never trust a dog to watch your food."  (Patrick, age 10)

"When your dad is mad and asks you, 'Do I look stupid?' don't answer." (Hannah, 9)

"Never tell your mom her diet's not working." (Michael, 14)

"When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair". (Taylia, 10)

"Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a Tic-Tac" (Andrew, 9)

"Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time." (Kyoyo, 9)

"You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk." (Armir, 9)

"Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts." (Kellie, 11)

"If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse." (Naomi, 15)

"Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick." (Lauren, 9)

"Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat." (Joel, 10)

"When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone." (Alyesha, 13)

"Never try to baptize a cat." (Eileen, 8)

A BIG Thanks to ALICE for sharing all her tips and tricks here on this page and to STEVE for sharing the photos!