Teaching Your Kids to Cook: Turkey Ranch Pinwheels

As I mentioned a few days ago, we’re working hard at our house on a new curriculum/ebook called Teaching Your Kids to Cook.  Just like Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve, this has become a family project.  I’m the one writing it, but all the kids get to be a part of putting this all together (and posing for pictures), which makes this task so much more fun!

Malachi (age 6) was eager to help me try a new “recipe” idea – one that requires no cooking – just a little bit of spreading, rolling and sprinkling.  In the middle of summer, any recipe that requires “no cooking” is a winner, so we decided we’d give you a sneak peek into this recipe before the book is completed!

Turkey Ranch Pinwheels

4 Soft Whole Wheat Tortillas
3 Tablespoons Ranch Dressing (we make our own ranch dressing)
½ cup Turkey, cut into tiny pieces
½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Spread Ranch Dressing on each tortilla.

Sprinkle bits of cheese and turkey over the ranch covered tortilla.

See what a nice job Malachi did!

Roll the filled tortilla up as tightly as you can.

Let a grown up help cut the rolled tortilla into pinwheels:

Malachi was so excited that he “made dinner for our family” and he declared this to be the “awesomest dinner ever!”  It’s true – these Turkey Ranch Pinwheels were super easy to put together, didn’t require a stove or an oven and Malachi (age 6) was able to do most of the work all by himself (okay, not really, but sort of).  We devoured this entire plate – and we had made a triple batch!

Since we had been taking pictures of the entire process Malachi wondered, “Don’t you need a picture of me eating them, Mom?”  Well sure.  Just in case you aren’t sure what to do once you finish putting your Pinwheels together, here’s Malachi to show you:

Do your kids enjoy helping you in the kitchen?  I know it’s usually easier (and less messy) to do the work yourself…how often do you pull the kids into the kitchen to help?

Update!  The book is finished – find Teaching Your Kids to Cook and Learn to Cook books here!

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Comments

  1. says

    What fun and it looks delicious! I love pinwheels but never think to make them. Great way to get the kids in the kitchen helping out.

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    Laura Reply:

    I need to remember to make pinwheels more often too. Malachi had SO much fun with this!

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  2. says

    Allan has decided he’ll make these for OUR dinner too. Only he doesn’t want to use the ranch dressing, and he wants to heat them up like a quesadilla before turning them into pinwheels. So… just a couple of changes. :-)

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    Laura Reply:

    Ha! Well, that’s the beauty of cooking – you can always tweak and experiment!

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  3. Rebecca says

    Love love love this idea, just showed my son how easy and yummy they look ~ he insisted he’s going to make them for his lunch tomorrow. Perfect for VBS Day Camp this week! Thank you!

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  4. Stephanie says

    My son is 4 and he loves to help me in the kitchen! My aunt made him his own apron even! He likes to help me shape dinner rolls, dump ingredients into the bowls, and of course plops cookies on the baking sheet. He even likes simple things like washing his own apples and grapes, and turning the food processor on to make peanut butter (loud, noisy, spinning, and yummy results so what’s not to love?)

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  5. Sarah says

    My kids love to “help” in the kitchen. For my two year old daughter, that consists of pulling a chair from the table over to where I’m working and mostly just being there, and for my 6 year old son, that usually consists of stirring, measuring/pouring ingredients, and if he’s lucky, turning the KitchenAid on and off :) It’s the little things! The best part is though, that I’ve restricted him from helping with the dishes for so long, and I’m still hesitant, so he thinks it’s a “privilege” and REALLY wants to do them. But now he’s getting old enough and pretty soon will be in charge of clean up :)

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  6. Kelly says

    I have an island in my kitchen so I can stand on one side while my 2 and 3 year olds pull up chairs and stand on the other side. Every time I bake I measure and they pour in, they stir, they taste test. They love brushing the egg onto pie shells, rolling the rolling pin, pushing down the cookie cutters. It’s always a huge mess and more hassle, but they love it! Oh, and they especially love smelling all the spices :) A great way to teach them to cook!

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  7. sabrina says

    Hi Laura,
    I LOVE your website as a 25 year old mother of 2 young girls and a wife to a hungry husband, I appreciate your approach to simple healthy eating. Anyway, how do you get your tortillas so soft. I make mine, but in order to roll them up, I usually microwave them to warm them first, otherwise they crack. Any suggestions??

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If we make tacos (or pinwheels!) with fresh, right off the stove, they do great, which is usually what I try to do. However, sometimes it’s nice just to pull them out of the fridge and start making the food. In this case, I’ll rewarm them for a couple minutes in a skillet on very low heat.

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  8. DorthyM says

    Love this idea! so far J likes to eat, not so much cook. But I’m hoping to change that and recipes like this may just do the trick.

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  9. says

    I have one note. Malachi looks old enough to be trusted with a table knife, right? I’m guessing he may also be old enough to cut the pinwheels (though with supervision of course to make sure they are all evenish).

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    Laura Reply:

    Hmmm…he’s six and I haven’t let my other boys use sharp knives until they were around 8 or so. Although he’d probably do okay if I was right there with him. And, a butter knife may be sharp enough to cut these, which I’d be okay with him using.

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    Tara Reply:

    I did mean a butter knife, similar to the one he used to spread the dressing. :)

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    Laura Reply:

    I should have him try doing that next time with the butter knife to see if he’s strong enough to cut them. Then I’d REALLY have worked myself out of a job! :)

  10. Amy Floyd says

    I will be having my 9 year old daughter help me make some of these today to use up some leftover chicken. I will also put in some fresh lettuce from the garden :-) I’m looking forward to seeing your new book!

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  11. says

    I love the picture of him eating those! That is so cute. I have taught my 8 and 9-year-old some basic things in the kitchen like baking muffins and scrambling eggs. They’ve even made us breakfast in bed all on their own. :)

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  12. Melissa says

    Laura, you have given me so much confidence to create a healthy & wholesome environment in my kitchen, I hope you realize how much we appreciate you!
    My 3 year old son likes to help me in the kitchen already, so I can’t wait to try this fun meal this weekend. He is only 3 and sometimes helps me slice (I use that term loosely) fruit with a table/butter knife. He is very dexterous for his age, though.
    His favorite thing to help me make is Pesto, because he is fascinated with anything green (which is GREAT!!). He helps with almost every part of the process, and especially loves to peel garlic cloves, which always makes him smell lovely (LOL!). I thought we would try making these pinwheels with pesto instead of ranch! What do you think?

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    Laura Reply:

    Sounds great!

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  13. says

    What a wonderful lunchtime idea too! My daughter is 2 and LOVES to help in the kitchen. She likes “doing dishes” (aka playing in the water), kneading bread, and sprinkling the cheese on our homemade pizzas. I think that she’ll have so much fun with this one. Thanks for the idea, Laura!

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  14. says

    All 5 of my children have enjoyed working in the kitchen with me. My two oldest, ages 14 and 11, pick one day per week where they are the “main” cooks for supper (we work with a monthly menu). The other three, ages 8,6 and 3, happily help out with prep tasks just about every day. They all have assigments each day of setting, clearing, wiping up, etc which helps them to learn that there is more involved in cooking than just setting out fantastic, healthy food. Its a joy to work together in serving our family this way!

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  15. Amanda Perdue says

    We love pinwheels in our house! We like to put shredded carrots and spinach in ours! Thanks for all of your encouragement!

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  16. Amanda says

    What a great idea – I’d like to do more wraps like this! Although my homemade tortillas never last long enough as it is. :) My almost-3-yo son uses his “ladder” (Kitchen Helper) to help with rinsing dishes, dumping ingredients into the bowl, and stirring. He also likes to use the spare rolling pin to roll out “his” dough when I make tortillas. I’m so excited for this e-book! :)

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    Amanda Reply:

    Oh, and I also like to have him tell me what the ingredients are as I take them out, and help me with counting when I’m putting in more than one of something. :)

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  17. Tammy says

    We make something similiar to these. We use cream cheese mixed with dry ranch dressing mix, spread on tortillas, fresh spinach leaves, turkey and shredded cheese. We’ve tried ham also. Both are really good. My oldest daughter(13) takes these for lunch at school a lot. I realize not everyone likes spinach though(like my almost 11 yr old)so we’ve tried romaine. Good but spinach is reallllly good!

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  18. says

    Little man absolutely LOVES to help in the kitchen. Once he started showing interest any time he wanted to help I’ve let him unless it would be dangerous. I learned to cook by helping and watching and he will too. I’m pretty sure by the time he’s 12 he will be able to make us dinner. :)

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  19. Jenifer Parker says

    Next time give him a spoon and tell him to spread that sauce just like when you make a pizza, it might make it even MORE fun. LOL Good job there, even with a knife.

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  20. Sara says

    When my daughter was 20 months old, she literally pushed a kitchen chair to the stove and insisted on helping me make pork chops and sweet potatoes! All I have to do is walk into the kitchen and that sweet girl (now age 3) is right behind me wanting to help. I usually set her up with something to stir and always let her pour everything. And she’s a master egg-cracker. She can skillfully crack an egg without getting any of the shell into the dish. =)

    She’d probably love to make these pinwheels!

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  21. Jenny says

    I’m always looking for age-appropriate things for the kids to do in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to your ebook!!

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  22. JenC says

    These do look yummy, think I’ll add some green to mine though. Hmm or use chicken and ceasar dressing for another yummy wrap:)

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  23. Kristin :) says

    Freezable???

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure. With the ranch in them, I don’t think they’d freeze very well.

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  24. Cher says

    Would like to encourage everyone who is still in the “more work and mess to let them help” stage that the long term payoff is amazingly wonderful!! I can now leave any of my kids (11-16) home with instructions and they can get a meal on the table…usually something I started or something pretty simple, but still, it’s ready when I had to be away during the main prep time! Also just had a leader profusely thank my 14 yr old for being willing and able to jump in for meal prep help at Boy Scout camp whenever the others were not sure what to do :)

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