Celebrate the Winter Holidays with Delicious, Kid-Friendly Recipes from Around the World
The winter season is a time for family, fun, and celebration! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday, food is a big part of many winter celebrations. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of global holiday recipes that are perfect for cooking with kids this season!
Cooking together is a great way for families to bond and spend quality time together during the holidays. Trying new foods from around the world can also be a fun and exciting way for kids to learn about different cultures and customs.
If you’re looking for more fun ways to learn about winter holiday traditions from around the world, don’t miss our Lunar New Year celebration at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County! Click here to learn more about the live entertainment and activities we have planned!
Tips for Making Recipes Easier for Kids
Cooking with toddlers can be a great bonding experience for the whole family, however, it can also come with some unique challenges. For instance, cooking with kids is a recipe for a mess! So one of the best ways to make the process easier for everyone is to remember, ‘Don’t sweat the mess!‘ Embrace the experience and have fun creating yummy dishes and lasting memories with your little one.
It’s also important to provide a kid-friendly workspace and age-appropriate tools that they can easily use while you cook together. Measuring out and preparing ingredients ahead of time is another great way to make recipes easier for kids. Letting them be in charge of important steps like mixing and stirring can teach children important life skills and help them feel like they are contributing to the meal in a meaningful way.
Overall, by embracing the mess and making the recipes a bit more manageable for little learners, you can make cooking with kids an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone.
Kid-Friendly Holiday Recipes from Different Regions of The World
These recipes are not only delicious but also easy for children to make with your help! Gather your little ones in the kitchen and get ready to explore the diverse flavors of the holidays from around the globe!
Please make sure to supervise children at all times while cooking and always use caution when handling sharp objects, or working around hot surfaces when children are present.
South American Christmas Recipe
Spiced Hot Chocolate is a warm and delicious drink that is often enjoyed during Christmas time in Peru. This delicious drink is perfect for a cold winter day, and it’s a great way to introduce kids to the amazing flavors of South American cuisine.
Peruvian Spiced Hot Chocolate Recipe for Kids
- 2 cups milk
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground star anise (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Don’t let a long list of spices hold you back from making a delicious cup of hot chocolate – use what you have on hand!
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk, chocolate, and all your spices of choice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Pour the hot chocolate into a mug and enjoy! You can also top it with whipped cream or marshmallows if you like.
Kwanzaa Recipe from West Africa
Kwanzaa takes place from December 26th through January 1st every year. For many people, this holiday is a time to honor their African ancestry, participate in family traditions, and celebrate with their community. They often celebrate by lighting a candle on their Kinara, exchanging gifts, and having big feasts and parties with their friends and family.
One recipe that is commonly enjoyed during Kwanzaa is Jollof Rice, a West African dish made with seasoned rice and a variety of vegetables and proteins. Below is a simple Jollof Rice inspired recipe that you can make with kids!
Jollof Rice from West Africa
- 1 cup of rice (rinsed and drained)
- 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth
- ½ cup of crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp of Tomato Paste
- 1 Red onion
- 1 Bell pepper
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Vegetable oil
- Crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat and add your chopped onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic.
- Mix in all your seasonings (excluding the bay leaves) and then add in your tomato paste, mixing everything together until all your veggies are coated.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add your bay leaves, and let it simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes or until it turns a deep red color.
- Add your rice and stir it into your vegetables, letting the gains get a bit toasted before adding your broth.
- After a minute or two, pour in your broth and turn the heat up to bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pot, reduce the heat back down to low, and let the rice cook for about 30-35 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove the rice from the heat, and let it sit for another 15 minutes with the lid still on. Then remove the bay leaves and fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Hanukkah Recipe from the Middle East
Hanukkah is a winter holiday that Jewish families around the world celebrate every year, usually around November or December. For eight days, friends and family gather every night to light a candle on their Menorah while saying special prayers in Hebrew. After the candle has been lit, they exchange gifts, play games, and eat yummy foods like sufganiyot, a delicious fried dessert bread that is similar to doughnut holes.
The doughnut hole recipe below is inspired by Sufganiyot, but only requires a few ingredients, and the help of an adult for frying the dough!
Sufganiyot Recipe with Pizza Dough
- 1 pound pizza dough
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Your favorite sweet toppings like powdered sugar, jelly, or chocolate syrup
- Add at least 1 inch of vegetable oil to a pan and preheat it to 375 degrees F.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.
- Use a small cookie cutter or a drinking glass to cut out circles of dough.
- Gently place the dough circles into the hot oil, a few at a time, and fry the doughnuts for 2-3 minutes, or until they are golden brown and puffed up.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the doughnuts from the oil and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Dust the doughnuts with powdered sugar, or top them with chocolate syrup, or your favorite jelly and serve them warm.
Lunar New Year Recipe from Asia
Lunar New Year is a winter holiday that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the Chinese calendar. This celebration usually falls sometime between January 21st and February 20th. One traditional food that many people eat during the Lunar New Year is Mantou, a fluffy and soft bread bun that only requires a few simple ingredients.
Steamed Bun Recipe (Mantou)
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of instant dry yeast
- 3/4 a cup of water
- Just a pinch of salt
- Steamer pot or Bamboo steamer
- Pile your flour onto a mound on a clean and flat surface and create a well in the middle of it, so it looks like a volcano. (If you have ever made homemade pasta, this will be a very similar technique.)
- Add your yeast, salt, and sugar to the well and start to slowly and gradually pour in your water while also mixing in the surrounding flour.
- Once all your ingredients are combined, knead your dough for about 10 minutes or until all the air bubbles have been removed and your dough is very smooth.
- Slice your dough into about 8-10 equal portions and roll them into balls that are all roughly the same size.
- Place them on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel to proof for at least 30 minutes.
- While your dough balls proof, fill a steamer pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Put your dough buns in the steamer and let them steam over medium-high heat for about 12 minutes.
- Remove the buns from the steamer and let them cool for a couple of minutes, before enjoying them warm.
Lunar New Year Celebration at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County
Come celebrate the Lunar New Year with us at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County! This annual event is held every winter in January in partnership with the Redwood Empire Chinese Association. This special celebration features traditional Chinese dances and interactive and educational activities about the Chinese Zodiac, the history of Chinatown in Santa Rosa, and so much more!