For Kids Only – How To Read A Recipe

Sometimes you get tired of mac and cheese, don’t you?  Frozen burritos, cheese sticks, and sandwiches can get pretty boring too if you eat them all the time.  Hey, how about taking out one of your mom’s recipes, that one you really like, and make some real food?  Problem is, you don’t know how to read a recipe.  Of course you know how to read, you just don’t know how to follow a recipe because it’s different than following microwave directions on the side of a box.  So you don’t starve, here are some tips on how to read recipes and make some good food:

#1 Top Tip
Get your mom to do it.  If that doesn’t work, read the rest of this.

Find a recipe for something that sounds good and easy.  How do you know it’s easy?  Simple.  If it’s on a 3 x 5 card and the instructions go onto the back of the card, it’s probably too much work.  Find one that doesn’t have so many words.

Read the recipe all the way through.  Even if it makes no sense, read it and find out what utensils and bowls and pots you need.   Do you know where the mixing bowls, spatulas, fry pan, and pot holders are?  I thought so.  Get familiar with your kitchen.  Some recipes will tell you what stuff to get out so do that now.  If the recipe doesn’t say, you can figure it out as you go.  It’s just a lot easier if you can get it all out ahead.  Your mom would call it being organized.  Whatever.

“Assemble”, which is the adult way to say “get out” all the ingredients that are in the recipe.  You’ll find them at the top or on the left side of the recipe card.   If you don’t know where all the ingredients are, ask your mom.  But at least try to find them first before you bug her.  If you definitely don’t know what something is, ask.  You don’t want to use flour when you’re supposed to use powdered sugar.  Yuk.

Some recipes will tell you how long it takes to prepare the food, and then how long it takes to cook or bake.  Better add some more time on to the prepare time, since you’ve never done this before and will probably be a little slow.  Hey, anybody would be slow their first time.

Here are some abbreviations you’ll need to know:
lb. is pound
tsp. is teaspoon
Tbl. is tablespoon
T. is tablespoon
oz. is ounce
C is cup

Here are some other terms you might want to know:
Wet ingredients are the wet stuff.  Duh.  Oil, butter, applesauce, milk, peanut butter, eggs, etc.  Use a measuring cup that’s meant for wet ingredients.

Dry ingredients are the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, etc.  Use a measuring cup that’s for dry ingredients.  Who cares?  You will if your food turns out tasting funny. Wet and dry ingredients measure a little differently.

Now look at the instructions on the recipe and just take it one step at a time.  “Take out a large mixing bowl and combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Mix together and set aside.”  Do that – just what it says.  Take your time and measure exactly.  Oh yeah, don’t measure anything over the mixing bowl.  If you spill the salt while trying to pour it into the teeny tiny teaspoon and you’re doing it right over the bowl, your cookies or whatever are going to be way too salty.

Keep following the instructions and ask questions when you need to.  Some recipes in cookbooks show pictures and that helps.  But don’t start the next step until you finish the one you’re on.  In other words, go in order.

Its okay to taste what you’re cooking to make sure you got it right.  Maybe you want to add more garlic to the spaghetti sauce or more cheese in the soup.  Just be sure you don’t taste uncooked raw ingredients like meat or eggs.

There you go; you cooked something from a recipe.  I bet it’s good and you’re full.  One last tip – when you’re all done, clean up!  (Your mom told me to say that.)

Learning to cook can be educational child’s play for your kids, and now they can explore a cooking website that’s all their own. Cookin’ Kids is the place for easy kid-friendly recipes and much more! Parents can visit too for their free Parent Tips.

Last 5 Articles Added By Peggy Baron

About Peggy Baron

Peggy runs Cookin' Kids, http://cookinkids, a website for kids who like to cook. She also puts together the Cookin' Kids Newsletter which is theme-based with fun facts, cooking terms, silly clipart, and easy kid-friendly recipes.
As if that wasn't enough, she also has her internet marketing website at as well as her PLR article site at

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