As part of our NO-COOK series, I definitely wanted to include a Microwave "Baked Potato" for kids. It's simple enough...and I think that most people (including myself) don't realize they can make a baked potato in the microwave. Or they forget they can. Not sure if this can technically be included as "no cook" BUT in my mind, "no cook" really means no oven/stovetop. Sometimes you just gotta be able to nuke your dinner 😜
HOW TO MAKE A MICROWAVE BAKED POTATO
All you have to do is clean a potato (scrub the dirt off and pat dry), stab it with a fork about 4 times, plop it in the microwave, and the rest is magic! Lol. I put a regular sized Russet potato in our microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. Then, flipped it over to its other side and cooked for another 3 1/2 minutes. Of course, this all depends on the strength of your microwave. I'd say ours is about average. Remove the potato very carefully when it's done...it'll be crazy hot. I normally wait 5 minutes or so before cutting it open.
After cooking the potato, the rest is really your creation. We sort of set up a potato bar for the kids, letting them pick what they wanted and how much. Our bar included: butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. This proved to be a good combo for the kids. My 6 yo even tried the green onions and said he liked them. I was super impressed but who ever knows if that incident will repeat itself?! Lol.
The kids really loved the whole baked potato thing. First, I think they were impressed that it could be done in the microwave. Second, they loved being able to 'make' their own potato. They could pick the toppings they wanted and the amount. Sometimes, kids need a little more agency at dinner time, and it really goes a long way. Third, my kids really dug mashing the potato and making a big ol' potato disaster on their plates! Some kids might like their baked potatoes more intact, but mine liked to just smoosh the heck out of theirs.
The only things to watch out for is kids wanting to keep adding stuff, especially more salt, butter, cheese, and sour cream. I'm not saying this is a particularly unhealthy meal BUT it is definitely higher in fat than most. So, I had to police the kids a bit around all that fun, fatty sprinkly stuff. Haha. To ease your conscience, serve some veggies on the side. I put some cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumber on the side, and it was a welcome, fresh addition. You can choose whatever veggies your kids would like.
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Make it a potato bar! I don't know about you guys, but my kids love a taco bar, with all the ingredients sorta lined up with empty tacos ready to be composed. Same thing with baked potatoes. We lined up all the toppings and let the kids go crazy, within reason.
🍅Whole or Mashed! Let your kids decide dhow they want to eat the potato. Cut open their potato by making a long X on top of the potato, and then open it up. They can put all their toppings inside and eat it whole. Or they can take a fork and mush the life out of it. It's fun to pick.
🍴 MODIFY THE MEAL🍴
🍅Make it Vegetarian! This baked potato is essentially vegetarian, minus the particular bacon bits that we chose. Buy McCormick's Bac'n Pieces instead, which are actually vegan. And then you are good to go.
🍅Make it Gluten Free! You really just have to make sure your bacon bit topping is gluten free. Just do some careful label reading.
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Microwave Baked Potato for Kids
- Rinse and scrub potatoes. Pat dry. Poke a couple holes on both sides of each potato.
- Place one potato in microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. Turn over onto it other side and cook for another 3 1/2 minutes. Let potato sit for 5 minutes or so before handling.
- Make a large X onto the top of the potato with a sharp knife. Open up potato and add whichever toppings you like!
Enjoy and please let us know what your kids think! ❤️