Kids love to get busy in the kitchen, especially when it's time to make dessert. Teaching your child to cook from an early age is a great foundation for adult life, and starting with dessert may make them more likely to branch out into other areas. There are many no-bake recipes for kids to make, and many of them are open to improvisation, depending on what's available in mom's pantry.
Sweet and Crunchy Snacks
Use popcorn as the main ingredient for a delicious no-bake dessert. Air-pop a large quantity of plain popcorn and lay it out in a baking dish. Melt chocolate or caramel and drizzle it over the popcorn. Let the mixture harden in the refrigerator, then cut it into bite-size squares. Or shape the popcorn mixture into balls and let them harden on a cookie sheet. For another crunchy treat, melt chocolate on the stove and dip large pretzel sticks into the melted chocolate. Lay them on wax paper until the chocolate hardens. Roll the pretzels in sprinkles or nuts when partially hardened.
Have the kids prepare a sundae bar for a special no-bake treat. Use two different flavors of ice cream and add toppings such as hot fudge, caramel and marshmallow cream. Nuts and cherries are a tasty addition, and don't forget the whipped cream. For a simpler cold treat, buy ice pop molds at a kitchen store and let the kids fill the molds with their favorite juice. Leave in the freezer to set. Add pieces of fresh fruit to the pops before freezing for extra flavor.
Marshmallows are handy to have on hand for a variety of no-bake treats. Melt the marshmallows over the stove and mix with cereal for a bar that's delicious and sweet when hardened. S'mores are a perennial kid favorite. Lay a marshmallow heated over the stove flame on top of a graham cracker and a piece of chocolate. Eat it like an open-face sandwich. Melt marshmallows or use marshmallow cream and place between two chocolate chip cookies for a sweet treat to eat on the run.
Desserts Using Cereal
Combine cereal with peanut butter, melted chocolate and nuts for delicious no-bake treats. Cover the cereal with the melted ingredients in a large baking dish or create a cookie ball with peanut butter, chocolate and nuts sprinkled on the outside. Add cereal to pudding or yogurt for a creamy and crunchy combination of flavors. Mix cereal together with pudding or soft ice cream and freeze until hard. Cut into squares for a cool dessert.