Do you find it difficult to get your kids interested in geography?
Learning about other countries and cultures is paramount for your kids as it broadens their minds and knowledge, teaches them about the world’s diversity, and fosters tolerance.
However, getting your kids interested in geography lessons can be challenging.
That’s where cooking can help!
Cooking international recipes is a great way to get your kids engaged and learn a ton about a country and its culture without even noticing it.
So, today, we’re transporting you to Italy by teaching you fun and easy Italian recipes you can cook with your kids.
But that’s no all! As a bonus, we also have 5 amazing Italian snacks you and your kids can make at home.
Careful, serious drooling is to be expected!
5 Kid-Friendly Italian Recipes To Make With Your Kids
Pasta is Italy’s gift to the world! Whether it be alla carbonara, bolognese, or lamb ragu, the number of Italian pasta-based dishes is never-ending. While choosing the toppings is fun, so is making the pasta from scratch. Once you’ve made the dough together, your kids can roll and shape it to their heart’s content before cutting it (with your help) into dough worms or other quirky shapes and finally, cooking it.
If you ask us when it comes to fresh pasta, the simpler the recipe, the better. So, we’d recommend only adding a bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese before eating, but you’ll find a list of authentic pasta recipes here for more inspiration.
Panzanella is a delicious bread and tomato salad popular in Tuscany and central parts of Italy. Made with fresh and simple ingredients such as ripe tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, olive oil, and bread. For an authentic Panzanella, use one-day-old Tuscan bread (Pane Toscano). Tuscan bread is salt-free, giving the dish a special flavor. Wondering why?
Here’s a fun fact:
Pisa used to control the coast of Italy and impose heavy tax on salt. Instead of paying tax to their enemy, Florentine people decided to create a delicious bread that needed no salt and tada, just like that, a new tasty Tuscan delicacy was born!
That’s right, besides making for the perfect summer dish, making Panzanella together is a great opportunity to teach your kid about Tuscany.
Risi e Bisi
Risi e Bisi (rice and peas in Italian) is an authentic and easy-to-make Venitian classic dish packed with fresh flavors. While looking a bit like a risotto, it’s categorized as a soup.
This creamy springtime dish is traditionally made on the 25th of April to celebrate the feast of San Marco, the city’s patron. For this recipe, you’ll need ‘’Vialone Nano’’ rice, fresh peas, olive oil, pancetta, chicken broth, Parmigiano Reggiano, and parsley.
While making Risi e Bisi with your kids, talk to them about Venice and San Marco.
Italian Meatballs (Polpette Napoletane)
Italian meatballs are always a hit with the kids.
After all, what’s not to like about a steaming bowl of meatballs in tomato sauce sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served with delicious crusty bread?
Traditional Italian meatballs are made with a mixture of meats, including pork, veal, and beef. For this recipe, you’ll need to stock up on pork, beef, mozzarella, pecorino, garlic, and parsley. The kids will love shaping the meatballs by hand and watching them go brown as you fry them in the pan. And of course, tasting them!
We couldn’t write a post about the most amazing Italian recipes to make with kids without talking about pizza.
Not only is it a crowd pleaser as it can be seasoned with various toppings, but it’s also a fun meal to prepare together! Sure, it will get messy, but the extra clean-up will be way worth the rewards.
For this recipe, we recommend preparing the dough from scratch as kids love rolling and shaping the dough.
Then, choose the traditional ingredients you want to use for your pizza. And if you’re looking for inspiration, some of the most authentic Italian pizzas include:
- Quattro Formaggi
- Prosciutto e Funghi
As the aroma of pizza fills the air, you won’t need to call everyone down for dinner twice 😉
5 Amazing Italian Snacks To Make With Your Kids
If you’re looking for an authentic Italian snack that is healthy, easy to put together with the kids, and that the whole family will enjoy, this is it! Bruschetta is an antipasto consisting of toasted bread drenched in olive oil and seasoned with fresh tomatoes and basil.
Panna Cotta is a classic Italian dessert made with heavy cream and vanilla. We chose it as part of our list of Italian snacks to make with kids because it’s easy and fun to prepare and tastes delicious! Also, we love how versatile it is as it can be served with exotic fruit, berries, caramel sauce, or even chocolate ganache.
Naturally, for the best flavors, choose fresh ingredients.
Here’s a kid-friendly recipe. Don’t forget that the whole preparation is only 15 minutes, and the cooling time is 6 hours.
Imagine a lemony-flavored shortbread cookie with a buttery-like texture and a light, crunchy bite that immediately melts in your mouth. That’s exactly what Canestrelli feels and tastes like!
This delicious snack is a staple in Northern Italy and is the perfect snack for kids as it can stay fresh for a number of days.
Almond biscotti (Cantucci)
Cantucci is another delicacy coming straight from Tuscany. These crunchy, orange-flavored biscuits are studded with roasted almonds and are one of, if not the most popular types of Italian cookies.
This easy-to-make recipe will allow you to bond with the kids as they help knead the almonds in the dough while teaching them about Tuscany. Here’s a great recipe.
Fun fact: did you know that biscotti means twice (bis) cooked (cotti)?
Another favorite among Italian families, Zeppole is a fluffy donut sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with custard or honey and butter. These delicacies are usually served during Father’s Day, festivals, and carnivals but can be enjoyed as a snack all year round.
Teach Your Children About Italy With Our Italy Subscription Box
At The Landmark Kids, we’ve designed monthly mystery subscription boxes for children aged 9 to 13+ to help them learn about the world and give them a global perspective. Each month, they will explore a new country and use clues to solve puzzles and mysteries. And guess what? We’ve just launched our Italy subscription box with plenty of games and activities for kids to explore this epic country. So if you are new to The Landmark Kids, don’t hesitate to sign up now for a limited time offer to get 20% off the September Italy box with code: BACKTOSCHOOL!