Kid-friendly Kid-Invented Salsa Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Kid-Invented Salsa

Recipe: Kid-Invented Salsa

Kid-Invented Salsa

by Erin Fletter
Photo by julie deshaies/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
4-8 servings

Fun Food Story

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Kid-Invented Salsa

Kids' creativity is the focus with this recipe. Kid chefs can invent their own salsa by choosing the ingredients they like best.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • microwave :

    to heat or cook food or liquid quickly in a microwave oven, which uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to generate heat in the food's water molecules.

  • squeeze :

    to firmly press or twist a food with fingers, hands, or a device to remove its liquid, like shredded potatoes, frozen and thawed spinach, or tofu.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • toss :

    to lightly lift and drop food items together or coat food items with flour, or a sauce or dressing, as in a salad.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife (a butter knife works great)
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Citrus squeezer (optional)
  • Wooden spoon


Kid-Invented Salsa

  • 1 to 2 limes
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder, or to taste **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub ground cumin)**
  • Kids choose 5 of the following:
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 C corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 tomato **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub 1 peach or 1/2 mango)**
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tomatillos **(Omit for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY)**
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper **(Omit for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY)**
  • 1/2 jicama (peeled by an adult)
  • 1/4 C pomegranate seeds
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Food Allergen Substitutions

Kid-Invented Salsa

  • Nightshade: Substitute ground cumin for chili powder. For 1 tomato, substitute 1 peach or 1/2 mango. Omit tomatillos and bell pepper from veggie selection.


Kid-Invented Salsa


Kids' creativity is the focus this week. Kid chefs will be making salsa with the ingredients they like best.

chop + measure

Chop, slice, tear, mash, or measure the five ingredients your child chose for their salsa: 3 green onions, 1 cup corn kernels, 2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 2 tomatillos, 1 bell pepper, 1/2 jicama (peeled by an adult), 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, 1 avocado, 1 handful of fresh cilantro, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.

squeeze + mix + taste

Transfer all of the prepared ingredients above into a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 to 2 limes into the bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder to the mixing bowl. Mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the salsa is combined. Taste and add more salt or chili powder if necessary.

What is Salsa?

Photo by RESTOCK images/
  • Salsa has been America's most-liked condiment since the year 2000—supplanting ketchup—and actually has been a favorite for thousands of years! The chili pepper was domesticated in Central America about 5200 BCE and the tomato about 3000 BCE. One of the uses the people found for these two fruits was to combine them into one condiment, which the Spanish Conquistadors named "salsa," or "sauce" in English. Other possible ingredients include onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, and lime juice.

Let's Learn About Mexico!

Photo by Alena Darmel
  • Officially, Mexico's name is "The United Mexican States." It is one of several countries and territories in North America, including Canada and the United States of America.
  • Spanish is Mexico's national language, and Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Mexican people didn't always speak Spanish, though. For thousands of years, Native Americans lived there and built great cities. The people had advanced language, education, and calendar systems, and they had very clever ways of raising food. Mexico is also the country with the largest number of native American speakers in North America. 
  • The capital of Mexico is Mexico City. Mexican legend says that Aztec leaders were told to build their great city of Tenochtitlan at the site where they saw an eagle sitting on a nopal cactus with a snake in its beak. That image is in the center of Mexico's flag. The Aztecs built their city on an island in the middle of a lake. The ruins of Tenochtitlan are at the center of Mexico City and still sit on top of a lake! As water is pumped out to serve the needs of the city's growing population, the city has been sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches per year.  
  • Indigenous Mexican people included the Aztecs in the central interior of the country, the Mayans of the Yucatan peninsula, and the Zapotec of the south. Spanish explorers landed in Mexico in the early 1500s, and they ruled Mexico for over 300 years. During this time of colonization, Mexico's Mesoamerican civilizations mixed with European culture.
  • Before the arrival of Spaniards, native Mexican food primarily consisted of corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, and herbs. Indigenous people occasionally hunted and added wild turkey, rabbit, deer, and quail to their largely vegetarian diets. Native royalty sipped chocolate drinks. Europeans introduced cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, sugarcane, and wheat to Mexico upon their arrival. 
  • Mexican cuisine uses chili peppers to give it its distinct flavor. Jalapeños, poblanos, and serrano peppers are commonly used in Mexican dishes. Dishes that include mole, a sauce made of dark chocolate, chili peppers, cinnamon, and other spices, may be served on special occasions, such as Día de los Muertos. 

What is it like to be a kid in Mexico?

  • Mexican children may live near the ocean or the gulf, in the desert, or in the mountains. 
  • Kids often live with extended family, including grandparents. Their full names include their father's and their mother's.
  • Most kids speak Spanish, but Mexico also recognizes 68 native languages. 
  • They attend school from September through June. Large schools have two shifts—one group in the morning and one in the afternoon. Students are usually required to wear uniforms. 
  • They may play soccer, baseball, and other sports. Jumping rope and other outdoor games are very popular. They might play a game similar to bingo called Lotería. It is played with picture cards and songs. 
  • Corn tortillas are a staple for kids, along with beans and rice. Dishes that include mole, a sauce often made of dark chocolate, chili peppers, cinnamon, and other spices, may be served on special occasions. 
  • A popular family holiday is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a celebration to remember and honor a family's ancestors. Family members decorate the graves of their relatives who have passed on. Typical foods served for this holiday include empanadas, tamales, pan de muertos (a sweet bread in which a ring with a tiny plastic skeleton is hidden), and calaveras de azucar (sugar candy skulls). 

The Yolk's On You

Hot sauce asks a jar of salsa: "You’re really not that extreme are you?"

Salsa replies, “No. I was born to be Mild.”

That's Berry Funny

The hot sauce asked the two chili peppers what they were doing.

They answered, "We're just chillin'!"

THYME for a Laugh

Why couldn't the pepper play with his friends? 

He was grounded!

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