Cooking with Kids: Guacamole

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about making guacamole with children. I love guacamole and know it's delicious, but I figured that there are lots of kids out there who have never tried it, and they might not be willing to try this squishy, green dip. I was so blown away and impressed by everyone's excitement about making something new and their willingness to try their finished product. One of the great things about guacamole is that it's up to you how simple or complicated you make it.

I allowed each participating child to add the ingredients they wanted (in the amount they wanted) and forgo the ones they didn't; everyone started with half of a medium avocado, and we went from there. They peeled the skin off, sliced, and then smashed their avocado with a fork or spoon. I thinly pre-sliced tomatoes and sweet onion, and then had the kids cut them down further with butter knives, one ingredient at a time, adding it to their mixing bowl when finished cutting. I also offered wedges of lime to squeeze, salt, and garlic powder. You could also add cilantro for flavor or black beans and corn to make your dip more hearty! 

I made sure to purchase some pre-made guacamole so that the children could compare the ingredients and flavor of their own creation and what could be bought at the store. Most preferred what they made!

While working on your guacamole, talk about:

  • How you can eat it, as a dip with chips or veggies, as a topping, or as a spread on a sandwich!
  • The anatomy of the avocado and its huge seed.
  • How to choose a ripe avocado, slightly soft, but firm, not squishy or rock hard.
  • How the guacamole is different depending on how finely, or not finely, you cut up your ingredients.
  • How the guacamole tastes different depending on what you put in it. (If you have it, on hand, compare batches made with a little raw, fresh garlic, roasted garlic, and/or garlic powder.
  • Where and how your ingredients grow (underground or on a bush or tree; here in Michigan, or in warmer climates).

Recommended supplies and ingredients (Everything but the avocado is optional!):

  • A bowl for mashing avocado and mixing ingredients.
  • A cutting board or plate for cutting.
  • A sharp knife for grown-ups, and a butter knife for kids
  • Avocado
  • Sweet onion (or any type of onion)
  • Tomato
  • Garlic (raw, roasted, or powder, whatever you have or can get easily)
  • Salt (anything but course salt will work)
  • A lime, or lime juice
  • Cilantro
  • Extra mix-ins, like corn or black beans