Two students sit at a round table while sampling fresh spring recipes: crackers, green peppers from the garden, and yogurt dip on paper plates in front of them. The student on the left is wearing a black t-shirt and several bracelets and holding up a pepper, smiling; the student on the right is wearing a red hoodie with the hood up and putting a pepper in their mouth with a goofy look on their face.
Arkansas students sample crackers and garden-grown peppers with a homemade yogurt dip.

Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and we’re looking toward warmer days ahead—and the chance to cook up some delicious spring recipes. 

If you’re like us, you’re also excited about the bounty of seasonal crops spring has to offer. Spring recipes can highlight fresh greens, herbs, and other produce, and they’re a great way to teach kids about eating with the seasons. 

Spring Recipes for Cooking with Kids

These spring recipes are adapted from the FoodCorps Recipe Book, a tool our AmeriCorps members use when introducing students to new preparations of fruits and vegetables.

Kids of all ages can help taste dishes and adjust for seasonings (“Does this need more salty or more sweet?”) and older children may be able to assist with ingredient prep. When it comes to storing leftovers, use your discretion and follow food safety guidelines.

Try these spring recipes at home for an easy and delicious way to celebrate the season. 

Note: The serving sizes listed in these spring recipes are tailored for younger appetites. If you’re feeding grown-ups too, adjust accordingly!

Shredded Carrot Salad

Yield: 8 servings of about 1 cup
Storage: Recommended to serve immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. 

FoodCorps members use this recipe to help kids pick whether they prefer carrots raw, roasted, or puréed. Feel free to customize the dressing to your family’s tastes! 


  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds carrots (about 6 cups shredded)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, more to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional dressing add-ins: honey, garlic, chopped parsley, or Dijon mustard, to taste


1. Grate carrots into fine shreds using a food processor or box grater.
2. Assemble the dressing by whisking lemon juice and salt and pepper and slowly whisking in olive oil and any add-ins.
3. Toss the carrots in the dressing just before serving so they don’t become mushy. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice or salt, for example. Only add a little dressing at a time, so you don’t overdress. The carrots should appear moist but not wet.

Berry-and-Mint-Infused Water

Yield: 8 servings of about 1 cup 
Storage: Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

This sweet springtime water can be a replacement for sugary drinks in warmer weather. Try it with flavors your child already knows and loves, or explore new fruits and herbs together as a family. 


  •  Handful mint leaves
  • 1 cup berries, slightly crushed


1. Place mint leaves in a ½-gallon jar and muddle, or gently bruise with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the crushed berries, then fill the jar with water.
3. Allow the jar to sit in the fridge for four hours or up to overnight before serving.

Spring Go, Grow, Glow Quesadillas

Yield: Ingredients will make about 4 quesadillas
Storage: Recommended to serve immediately, but leftover filling can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. 

FoodCorps members cook these quesadillas with their students to reinforce the concept of eating go foods (carbohydrates), grow foods (protein), and glow foods (fruits and vegetables). They can be made during all times of year with different vegetables, but using fresh spinach makes them especially perfect for your collection of spring recipes.


  • 2 cans pinto or black beans
  • 4 cups shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces of spinach
  • 1 package of flour tortillas 


1. For one quesadilla, mix ¹⁄₃ cup beans and ¾ cup shredded cheese in a bowl. Then tear 1 cup fresh spinach into bite-sized pieces and stir into mixture.
2. Spread about 1 cup of the mixture onto one tortilla, and then put a second tortilla on top.
3. Cook quesadilla on a dry skillet or hot plate on medium heat, until the underside is browned and cheese has started to melt. Flip the quesadilla and continue cooking until the second side is browned, the cheese is fully melted, and the ingredients are warmed through.
4. Slice into wedges and serve immediately.

Bean and Yogurt “Ranch” Dip

Yield: About 3 cups of dip
Storage: Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days. 

For ranch lovers of all ages, this protein-packed alternative has all the flavor and creaminess of your favorite dressing made with more whole ingredients. Try it with broccoli, carrots, or whole wheat crackers. 


  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups white beans (cooked or canned, about 2 [15-ounce] cans)
  • 3 cups Greek or regular yogurt
  • ¼ – ½ cup lemon juice, to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ⅛ cup chives, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional add-ins: minced tarragon or dill


1. Using a food processor or blender, chop garlic until minced, then add beans and yogurt.
2. While the machine is running, add lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and then olive oil in a thin stream until smooth. Turn off machine and gently stir in chives. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
3. Serve with carrot sticks or broccoli or cauliflower florets.

Herby Flatbread Crackers

Yield: About 5 dozen crackers
Storage: Allow crackers to cool fully before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. 

This hands-on recipe introduces kids to working with dough and produces dozens of delicious, crispy crackers you can customize to your family’s tastes. Try them with the bean and ranch dip above! 


  • 1 cup whole grain flour (whole wheat, spelt, etc.)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • Sea salt
  • Optional add-ins: minced rosemary, thyme, sesame seeds, and/or poppy seeds


1. Preheat oven to 500˚F.
2. Mix flour, salt, and oil with a fork until crumbly and mealy. Add ¼ cup water, stirring as you pour it in.
3. Switch to kneading by hand when dough gets difficult to mix with a fork. Add more water until dough forms a ball that’s firm but not be sticky.
4. Sprinkle a rolling pin with flour and roll out dough as thinly as possible. You should be able to see through the dough. Use cookie cutters, a sharp knife, or a pizza cutter, cut crackers into 1- to 1 ½-inch pieces. Re-roll any dough scraps and repeat until you have no dough left.
5. Sprinkle with your choice of herbs, seeds, and/or sea salt.
6. Bake crackers for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they puff up and brown, and then flip and bake them for 1 to 2 minutes more. They burn quickly and will still be pliable until they cool. Cool before serving.

What are your favorite spring recipes to cook with kids? Share your spring recipes with us on social media @foodcorps!