Theo, my two-year-old, has been in the kitchen with me since he was about ten days old. I mean, at first, his only involvement was sleeping peacefully in his cozy carrier while I cooked, but as soon as he could sit in his clamp-on seat at the island, he had his own tasks. Even if that meant just stacking measuring cups, or playing with a whisk and water.
As a person whose own enthusiasm can't be tamped enough to avoid making big messes, I'd never begrudge my kids the same fun. So now that he's older, he helps me with pretty much everything that can be done safely (however messily) - in the past few days, he's measured and whisked ingredients for muffins, beaten eggs for omelettes, tossed salads, plucked the stems from cherries, etc.
For this mini quiche recipe, Theo added the salt and pepper to the eggs and did a decent job beating them ("'Eo stir it!", he says). He spooned in the tomatoes and cheese, and put the paper liners into the muffin pans. Older kids could help grate the cheese and portion the egg mixture into the cups, too.
As a dietitian, I can tell you that involving your kids in the process (from growing or shopping for food, to helping plan or choose components of meals, to actually participating in preparation) is one of the best ways you can support them in becoming adventurous, healthy (read: non-picky) eaters. Plus, it sets them up with the food knowledge and kitchen skills they need to take care of themselves with nutritious, delicious meals down the road. Not to mention, it's just a really fun thing to do together!
Kids love the novelty and cuteness of single servings just for them, and these little quiches are endlessly customizable to their preferences and/or whatever you have kicking around your refrigerator. Feel free to substitute finely chopped broccoli, asparagus, spinach (or whatever!) for the tomatoes, and/or use diced ham, turkey or chopped bacon in lieu of sausage.
I keep a stash of mini quiches in the freezer and microwave them for 60 seconds for quick weekday breakfasts. They're great sandwiched in an English muffin, too.
Kid Friendly Mini Quiches
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ tsp coarse salt, divided
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups crumbled, cooked breakfast sausage (from about 10 oz uncooked)
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- ½ cup diced, cored and seeded tomato
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare two standard muffin pans by lining 16 of the cups with paper liners.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper; stir in sausage, cheese and tomato. Divide mixture among muffin cups (about 1/3 cup of egg mixture per quiche). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is set. Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then transfer quiches to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If desired, you can return the cooled quiches to the muffin pans and transfer to freezer, then pack into freezer bags once frozen.
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 20 min Servings:16