Tag Archives: baking with children

Why you should cook with your kids

I’ve been baking with my kids since my eldest was 18 months. With one child it is messy, with more than one it is carnage. It takes 4 times as long, involves multiple conversations, explanations and shouts of “no, not yet”, there is a kitchen to clear up and children too… however I am convinced it is something we should all be doing.

Why? Here are my top reasons.

  1. It teaches children about measuring, volume, pouring, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Jobs like rolling pastry, cutting out shapes, measuring the flour, stirring and pouring in milk are all good to try.

Dietitian UK: Why you should cook with your kids 1

  1. They learn about safety in the kitchen. My 5 years old has her own knife and know how to safely chop the vegetables and how to carry sharp knifes. Learning about the oven, the hob and even the big kitchen appliances can be interesting to small ones and teaches them how to be safe in the kitchen.
  2. Children may find it less intimidating and stressful to try out new foods whilst you are preparing them or after they have cooked them. My boy went through a tricky stage with vegetables, then I discovered he would eat lots when helping cut them up for the dinner. So every night he helped prepare the veggies with me! 
  3. It gives them a sense of achievement and success. My kids always look full of happiness and pride when I remind them they helped cook a meal.

Dietitian UK: Toddler cooks Healthy Spag carbonara

  1. Cooking seems to be a dying out skill. It isn’t really taught at school so the only way your children will learn is at home. I come across a lot of people who don’t know how to cook, or have no confidence in the kitchen. Letting your children learn whilst at home teaches them a valuable skill for life.
  2. It is a chance to talk about healthy eating and role model healthy lifestyles to your small ones. We look at different foods, talk about how they are made/where they come from and look at how they look inside, how they cook and different ways to use them. For ages my boy thought Peppa Pig was related to an actual pepper 😉 Watch out though as age 3 my girl was proudly able to tell people when they ate bacon that it had come from a  pig and told the pigs at the farm they made tasty sausages! 
  3. You can use cooking as a whole education. Colours, shapes, counting can all be part of the process! 
  4. In our family, it can be that all important catch up time, where we chat and hang out. 

Dietitian UK: Why you should cook with your kids 2

  1. It occupies them! I have a girl with a very active mind, she needs activities to do, so she cooks with me.
  2. Hopefully, they will be able to cook you dinner when old enough!! I cannot wait for this!

So if you don’t cook with your children, I hope I have given you some reasons why you should 🙂

Banana Oaty Bars

 Mini-Disaster in our house usually means…. there is no flapjack left, we are out of milk, Miss K cannot find a very important item (insert “really not important in the grand scheme of life but a calamity to her”), or a section of the train track has come apart. I quite love the fact that these really are regular disasters in the eyes of my small ones. How simple life can be!

Today’s disaster led to a distraught 2 year old.

 1. The flapjack tin was empty

2. There were not enough oats to make more.

Super Mummy to the rescue. I rarely make the same recipe twice anyway 😉

So I adapted my semi-famous banana and sultana flapjack recipe by adding flour. It comes out less of a flapjack and more of an oat bar. Dense, oaty and firm – no crumbly texture here. A really good option to have with a cuppa, for lunch boxes or to feed a snacking child. They are sweet but not too sweet, if you know what I mean. The oats provide that wholegrain goodness, the banana and sultanas pack in the fruit and there is just a hint of honey and butter to bind it all.

It’s falls into that territory of “Is it a flapjack? Is is a cake? It is a bar?”

You know what? I can’t decide but all that really matters is it is healthy and yummy!

Dietitian UK: Banana Oaty Bars

Banana Oat Bars (wheat free, gluten free)
Yields 12
Quick, easy oat bar recipe that is healthy and great for hungry children.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
118 calories
19 g
9 g
4 g
2 g
2 g
43 g
1 g
5 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
43g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 9mg
3%
Sodium 1mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 19g
6%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
1%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g oats (gluten free if needed)
  2. 100g plain flour (I used a gluten free blend)
  3. 100g sultanas
  4. 1 mashed banana
  5. 2 tbsp honey
  6. 50g butter
Instructions
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, by hand or in a food processor/stand mixer.
  2. Melt the honey and butter together in a bowl and then add along with the banana.
  3. Mix well, I left this for a few minutes in my stand mixer.
  4. Press into a lined, greased baking tray, cover the top with foil for half of the cooking time to stop the sultanas getting burnt.
  5. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 20-30 minutes.
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calories
118
fat
4g
protein
2g
carbs
19g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Healthy Apricot Fruit Loaf (no added sugar, gluten free)

My afternoons often consist of “Mummy my tummy’s hungry” from Miss K (age 4) and “Mor Mor” with a sign for “Eat” from J-boy (17 months). I swear the toddler boy could graze all afternoon if allowed! I’m constantly on the look out for tasty, healthy snacks for my kids. Generally I prefer to have some savoury snacks around – with some veggies involved when I can sneak them in. However this week, after spending time talking to clients about malt loaf, I was fancying a chewy, sweet but healthy loaf cake that is dense to keep hungry tums full.

This one was knocked up in about 20 minutes with J-boy helping me. He ate some of the apricots, tipped out the flour and licked the spatula clean! I cooked at the same time as our chicken tray bake was in the oven too. That meant both the kids sneaked a piece with their yoghurt after tea 🙂  Let’s just say it was devoured pretty quickly.

Dietitian UK: Apricot Fruit Loaf 3

Mis K: “It’s the goodest cake Mummy, its the goodest cake with fruit in it”

Dietitian UK: Apricot Fruit Loaf 4

Although I made this for the kids, I made it wheat and gluten free so that I can join in the fun too!

Healthy Apricot Fruit Loaf
Serves 15
This is a healthy, no added sugar, low fat, gluten free recipe… completely suitable for toddlers and adults alike.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
196 calories
45 g
0 g
2 g
3 g
0 g
89 g
6 g
16 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
89g
Servings
15
Amount Per Serving
Calories 196
Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 6mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 45g
15%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 16g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
35%
Vitamin C
19%
Calcium
7%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 200g dried apricots
  2. 2 oranges
  3. water
  4. 225g rice flour
  5. 1 tsp xanthum gum
  6. 2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tsp cinnamon
  8. 50g ground almonds
  9. 350g raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a loaf tin.
  2. Cut up the apricots into small chunks and place in a small saucepan.
  3. Juice the 2 oranges into a measuring jug, make up to 350ml with water and add to the saucepan. Heat to boiling and then turn the heat off.
  4. Mix the flours, xanthum gum, baking powder, cinnamon, ground almonds and raisins together.
  5. Now add the apricots and liquid in, mix well.
  6. The mixture will be thick and sticky (but tasty). Spoon into the loaf tin and bake.
  7. Leave to cool a little in the loaf tin if you can before cooling properly on a wire rack.
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calories
196
fat
2g
protein
3g
carbs
45g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Cheesy Courgette Biscuits Vlog – great toddler snack.

Recently the husband and the toddler have been have a bit of a “snack-off”. She asks for “pink biscuits”, “sweeties” and snacks that generally she knows are not for everyday eating and Daddy finds it hard to negotiate. She is a highly skilled negotiator (may get that skill from me), watch out for her later in life!

So my mummy mind leapt into action and to save the day, we made up a pile of more suitable snacks. Here is our vlog of making cheesy courgette biscuits, we made 3 batches of these and froze them in freezer bags ready to get out when needed. Written recipe here.

 

I’d love to hear your favourite snack ideas. Here are some more of mine.