Tag Archives: baking with kids

Pear Rock Cakes, no added sugar.

It’s been a week of pretty awful sleep. That saying about “They saved the best till last” is not true when it comes to sleeping babies. The third baby is the worse sleeper! However she also gives the best cuddles and is super cute with it, so I can’t be cross with her.

When I don’t sleep well I tend to :

  1. Walk around in a bit of a brain fog, yet still be functional for work – how does that happen?
  2. Want to poke out the eyes of anyone who has a baby that sleeps through the night.
  3. Loose some of my words. My 6 year old is good at finding them for me. “I’m just making…..ummm, ummm” “Breakfast Mummy?” “Yes, that’s the one”. 
  4. Get creating in the kitchen. I’ve no idea how but cooking and baking helps restore my sanity.

So on a cold, fuzzy headed Sunday afternoon I was flicking through my recipe notebook and stumbled upon rockcakes. Rockcakes seem to be one of those recipes that people make in school or when they are learning to bake. I think they need a come-back. Super easy to make, which means the children can help, there is little that you can go wrong with and you are left with a mountain of tasty snacks for your week.

I’ve adapted the usual rock cake recipe by adding in fruit and upon tasty the mix I decided it was sweet enough for our palates. Try a bit of it before you add in the eggs and see what you think as you can always add in a little sugar to taste. Doing it this way will hopefully mean you don’t go OTT on the sugar content.

My kids were happy bunnies and rewarded me by playing nicely with minimal arguments all afternoon. I love the subtle pear hint in these. Perfect for tbe after school munchies, which happens to co-incide with my cuppa and snack time 🙂 

Dietitian UK: Pear Rockcakes

Pear Rock Cakes
Yields 20
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
116 calories
17 g
29 g
5 g
2 g
3 g
45 g
9 g
5 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
45g
Yields
20
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116
Calories from Fat 41
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 29mg
10%
Sodium 9mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 17g
6%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
3%
Iron
2%
* 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 butter at room temperature
  2. 250g flour (I used Doves Farm Plain Gluten Free Blend)
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp mixed spice
  5. 1 soft large pear, peeled and chopped
  6. 1 soft ripe banana, mashed
  7. 100g raisins
  8. 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Rub the butter into the flour.
  2. Now add the baking power and spice.
  3. Add in the wet fruit. the pear should break down easily if you are using a stand mixer or food processor.
  4. Now mix the raisins in gently.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Taste and add sugar if needed, I found it wasn't necessary.
  7. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5, line and grease a baking tray.
  8. You should end up with a soft dough.
  9. Take dessert spoons of the mixture and gently shape into rounds.
  10. Place onto a greased, lined baking tray.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned on the top.
beta
calories
116
fat
5g
protein
2g
carbs
17g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Healthy Oaty Cookies

My kids love to get involved in the cooking. Usually they see my cooking, draw up a stool and join in. Yesterday we had a rare afternoon at home. The summer has been full on outdoor fun, so being torrential rain the kids came up with a plan “Mummy lets make biscuits”. Normally I would be pretty up for this plan, but yesterday, unusually,  I was feeling the lure of the sofa… However, I am a huge believer in getting children cooking young and as they had intiated it this time, I really couldn’t refuse. A quick flick through some reciipes for inspiration and we decided on adapting a River Cottage recipe. 

This was a total cop-out on my behalf as it was so quick to make so I still got some sofa time, curled up with a freshly baked cookie and a cuppa. Extra bonus is our snack tin is topped up for at least a day (these dollops of goodness are going fast).

I adapted the recipe using prunes to sweeten, a banana to replace some peanut butter and omitting the raisins on request. It ended up being a great way to use up the claggy bit of peanut butter at the end of the pot. 

Happy kids, freshly healthy cookies, a huge train track and mummy got 15 minutes of peace, which is what weekends are all about. 

 

Healthy cookies1

 

Healthy Oaty Cookies
Yields 12
Super fast, healthy, squidgy cookie recipe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
132 calories
15 g
14 g
7 g
5 g
1 g
39 g
93 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
39g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132
Calories from Fat 59
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 14mg
5%
Sodium 93mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
2%
Iron
5%
* 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. 150g peanut butter
  2. 100g prunes, finely chopped
  3. 1 medium ripe/over-ripe banana
  4. 1 medium egg
  5. 50g oats
  6. 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3.
  2. Measure out the peanut butter.
  3. Chop the prunes finely and break the banana into chunks.
  4. Mix together, then add the egg and mix.
  5. Now add the oats and bicarb and mix.
  6. The mixture will be very sticky, place spoonfuls onto a greased baking tray.
  7. Flatten slightly with the top of a spoon.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
beta
calories
132
fat
7g
protein
5g
carbs
15g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

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 🙂

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas.

I love Christmas. In fact I love the run up to Christmas, Christmas itself and that bit between Christmas and New Year. The different spices, the recipes, the baking, the sparkle, the crafting, the lights, the gift wrapping, the excited children and the baby Jesus who for us is at the centre of it all.

Having a 5 year old is making things even more exciting this year as she is old enough to really get involved in making, baking and crafting. Plus, she shares my excitement and love of sparkles. 

We always make some homemade gifts, I always think this is more what Christmas is about – the thought and time that goes into a gift, plus it helps with the pennies!

This year, so far we have made:

Gingerbread. Simple to make the dough. I then rolled it out for Miss K and she used the cutters. My 2 year old boy preferred the rolling to cutting so he had his own bit of dough to play with. These were then decorated with icing and many sprinkles. We will be wrapping these in cellophane bags and attaching a homemade gifttag.

Gingerbread3

Gingerbread2

Decoupage decorations. These only cost £1 each in Hobbycraft and gave my girl a lot of joy. I collect tissue paper from presents, party hats etc… and she then tore this up and used watered down PVA glue and a a painbrush to apply the paper to the decoration. The whole process was done in 3 sessions, so we definitely got good value out of this activity.

Christmas gift tags. I picked up some Christmas sellotape and it was a huge hit. We cut out card and used the sellotape to create a border around the edges, add some glitter, write on a name and there is an easy gift tag!

Pottery handprint coasters. We didn’t do this one at home but it is something I would certainly love to move of. These beauties are really for me, in fact I plan for them to end up in my stocking 😉 They cost us £4 -£5 each to make. The only downside was the huge tantrum my girlie threw whilst there. It happens to us all.

Pottery handprints

Colour your own cards. These were sent by granny and have taken Miss K about 20 minutes per card. She has taken a lot of care and love over them. We certainly won’t have enough for all her friends, but it’s been a great activity she can do my herself.

Homemade felt boards. This is something I have made myself for my boy. I initially made a felt nativity scene, so we have a piece to add to the scene each day. Having had to make a large felt board for this and having some felt leftover I decided to make some transport felt shapes for the J boy to use after we pack away the Christmas bits. So simple and yet hopefully hours of play fun.

Dietitan UK: Felt trains

So although the homemade approach is going to mean a whole lot of mess, glitter everywhere for weeks, house in a state and sticky fingers everywhere…. for me it is all part of the festive fun and it creates some lovely memories.

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.
beta
calories
196
fat
2g
protein
3g
carbs
45g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Healthy Cranberry and Orange Flapjack for a Flapjack-a-holic.

Christmas has come and gone but I’ve still got cranberries to use up. I’ll be honest, I’m a flapjack-a-holic, so even after making the cranberry muffins I had to play around and make up some flapjacks too. Life with out flapjack is not worth thinking about. However my flapjack has to be a healthier version, gone is the treacle, syrup and lashings of butter…. instead I’ve increased the fruit, got rid of the sugar and used honey and reduced the butter. The result is a tangy, moreish morsel that goes perfectly with a decent cuppa.

 Dietitian UK: Healthy Cranberry and Orange Flapjack

Cranberry and Orange Flapjack
Serves 15
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
111 calories
18 g
7 g
4 g
3 g
2 g
42 g
2 g
7 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
42g
Servings
15
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 7mg
2%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 18g
6%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 7g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
2%
Iron
4%
* 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 oats
  2. 100g raisins
  3. 2 tbsp honey
  4. 50g butter
  5. 100g fresh cranberries (or other berries)
  6. Juice of 1 orange
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 5.
  2. Mix the oats and raisins together.
  3. Place the honey, butter, cranberries and orange juice in a microwavable container. Heat for 3 minutes, stopping to stir it every minute.
  4. When it is finished remove from the microwave and crush the cranberries in the container using a fork or the back of a spoon.
  5. Mix the wet into the dry ingredients.
  6. Spoon into a lined, greased flapjack tray and bake for 20 minutes. I cover mine with greaseproof paper for the first 10 minutes to prevent the raisins from burning.
beta
calories
111
fat
4g
protein
3g
carbs
18g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/