These days, when kids are eating all their meals at home, they are quite difficult to please.
Most children I know won’t go near a bowl of steamed broccoli or Brussels Sprouts. (of course, there are exceptions).
As such, cooking for them can be a burden, especially if it’s the 3rd time in the same day. But it doesn’t have to be that way! My luck turned around when I got my first Instant Pot and learned that you can cook a variety of meals just by pressing a few buttons.
Each pressure cooker you purchase comes with a list of Instant Pot recipes, which makes it easier for beginners. But wait! You don’t have to search your drawers for this list, and anyway we all know you threw it away last summer.
In this post I gathered some quick and tasty dishes I make at home.
All the recipes in this article are adapted to be delicious for children and easy to make for parents.
Have a look and let me know which one worked for your little ones!
#1: Mac and Cheese
While it may not be the healthiest meal in the book, kids love it! And, I think it’s OK to indulge in some cheesy goodness from time to time - it makes life more fun.
At my house, we do Mac and Cheese three or four times a month and the kids go crazy about it. Even more, you can introduce the kids to different kinds of cheese or even slip some tiny pieces of broccoli in the sauce without them noticing.
I like to use elbow macaroni, but if you have any other pasta in the house, you can replace it. As you can see from the recipe, you only have to cook the pasta in the Instant Pot and then add the cheesy sauce.
Now, you may wonder why don’t I just do the pasta the regular way? Well, the IP is faster and you don’t have to constantly check if it got to the right texture. Just set the time and press start - the pot will take care of the rest.
It is a delicious and hearty dinner, especially in the winter, and it can be a way to introduce the kids to new vegetables or convince them to try ground beef (that’s how I did it).
Furthermore, you don’t have to slave away an entire day over the stove. The Instant Pot takes care of everything, from simmering the beef with the beans and tomatoes, to bringing everything together through a bit of pressure cooking.
For details on how to prepare everything and ingredients, you can find the recipe here.
#3: Chicken Tacos
If the kids are pestering you to go out for tacos, now you have a home-made recipe to keep them happy while offering them a healthier alternative.
In addition, it is quick to make and any parent can get creative for the sides and toppings, using whatever they have in the fridge. It’s also a nice way to make sure the kids eat some salads, tomatoes, and healthy cheese without any of the not-so-healthy sauces they get in fast-food restaurants.
The recipe is waiting for you here.
Kids love spaghetti because they are delicious and fun to eat, and parents love them because they are versatile and easy to make. Throw and Instant Pot into the mix and now you have the perfect combination!
The fun thing about this spaghetti recipe is that you throw everything in the same pot! There’s no need to use other cooking accessories like a colander or a separate pot. You start by cooking the meat (which only takes a few minutes) and end up by adding the rest of the ingredients (pasta, sauce, seasonings, and water) and wait another few minutes.
It’s easy, clean, and the kids don’t have to wait more than 8 minutes to enjoy a delicious and flavorful healthy meal. How about that?
#5: Rice Pudding
It’s a healthy dessert that feels nice in the tummy and can be combined with a wide range of fruits and toppings.
The instructions are clear and the ingredients are few, but the result is absolutely marvelous! Not to mention the flavor this pudding will spread throughout the house!
Once it’s ready to be served, place the pudding in bowls and add slices of apple, orange, or kiwi on top. Of course, you can mix and match or get creative and turn this into an art project (use the fruits to draw funny characters in the pudding).
#6: Chocolate Cake
Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? I have to admit that I don’t like giving up my piece, regardless of who is doing the asking. Chocolate cake is my kryptonite!
Now, before I got the Instant Pot, I didn’t like making it at home because it’s a rather delicate recipe. Also, I don’t like the one I buy because it’s too sweet and tasteless. So, if I’d want chocolate cake I had to brace myself for a lot of work and a ton of dishes to wash at the end of the day.
But, with the Instant Pot, you can make an amazing chocolate cake in just an hour without messing up the kitchen. The result is a fluffy, delicious, and rich cake that can be consumed as is or with a wide range of toppings (whipped cream, chocolate/vanilla frosting, fruits, and more).
True, it’s not the healthiest recipe, but once in a while, it’s the perfect choice. Whether you’re making it for a birthday party or just to spruce up a boring weekend afternoon, this is the cake that will make you the favorite parent!
I hope I managed to inspire and help a few overwhelmed parents with these recipes. I know it is difficult to cook home-made meals all the time, and the task becomes almost impossible when both parents are working. But, with a bit of help from the right appliances, you can do it (at least from time to time)!