child holding bell peppers and tomato

Kids Make Crunchy Taco Salad with Pasta & Ranch Dressing

There are lots of ways for kids to help make our Crunchy Taco Salad with Pasta & Ranch Dressing! The hardest part will be keeping them from snacking on the ingredients during the process!

While your kids are helping out, you can also pause to discuss which FOOD GROUP each ingredient belongs to and share some fun facts about this meal’s featured ingredient: tortilla chips

🍴food groups1🍴


    • Fruits: none
    • Veggies: tomatoes2, peppers, black olives, lettuce, cilantro
    • Grains: pasta, tortilla chips
    • Protein: turkey
    • Dairy: cheese, ranch dressing

    1For information about food and health, go to

    2Tomatoes are classified by botanists as fruit, but nutritionally and legally they are considered veggies.




Here are some creative ways for your kid to be your personal Sous Chef as you make our Crunchy Taco Salad with Pasta and Ranch DressingSimply hover over each image for details. And make sure your little dudes wash their hands before starting!


To help cook the meat, kids can:

Break up ground turkey as it cooks

Kids can use a spatula or potato masher to break up turkey.

Measure and add taco seasoning to meat

We used this Potato Masher.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.


To prepare the noodles, kids may:

Bring water to a boil

This teaches kids to pay attention to the stovetop and see what happens to water when it gets that hot. Yay science!

Try Noodles!

Let kids decide if noodles are done. Hungry toddlers love this job!


To prepare the taco salad, kids can:

Help chop veggies *

Combine meat with veggies, noodles and cheese

Stir taco mixture together

Crush tortilla chips

Kids will love this task!

We’re big fans of these Curious Chef kid-safe knives. We also love these tortilla chips!

*Note: For toddlers especially, these tasks require adult supervision and/or assistance, as items may be sharp, hot or otherwise dangerous. 

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