by Kristy Roser Nuttall
Once your kid is interested in joining your kitchen crew, a little baking is in order. Kids love adding ingredients and mixing things together. It’s like getting to do a giant chemistry project and then eating the products of the chemical reaction. You are giving your child a kinesthetic hands-on experience with learning–as well as an opportunity to spend quality time with you that they crave.
You can even let your kids imagine that they are kitchen padawans (Jedi in training) on a secret mission to make yummy food. I remember the first time I let my 2-year-old crack an egg; he was amazed at how fun it was to crush a white shelly thing on the bowl and then let a giant glob of ooze slosh out into the bowl. This is living. It’s almost as good as pretending to squash a Storm Trooper. And then of course, don’t forget to mix it all together with a fork (use the fork Luke!) or better yet, let your child help you set up the beaters and have the thrill of turning them on for a spin through the cooking galaxy.
Once you teach your kids how to crack eggs, measure, and pour, they will feel like true chefs. Why not let them come up with different names for what you make? My sons all agree that there is no reason to have regular chocolate chip banana muffins when you could have Star Wars style. . .
Banana Light Saber Chocolate Chip Meteor Muffins
- 3 ripe bananas (let your kid have fun mashing these up!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick of butter (room temperature)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- ½ cup flax seeds (optional)
- 1 cup of mini chocolate chips (optional)
Use the force to turn on your blender and battle bananas, sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs until they surrender into a smooth mixture–about 2 minutes. Then scour the sand dunes of Tatooine to find flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and secretly mix in a separate bowl without any storm troopers or Darth Vader seeing you. Combine wet and dry ingredients into the same bowl with a wooden spoon light saber. Channel your inner ewok and gently fold in 1 cup of mini chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup of flax seeds from the forest moon of Endor to the batter. Spray a muffin tin with powerful Yoda non-stick spray and put the batter by the light saber spoonful into the pan and cook for about 20 min. or until slightly golden brown on top but not dark Chewbacca colored brown all over.
When your little Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia successfully creates their galactic masterpiece, they will feel like they could fly to another galaxy and beyond. The self-confidence your kids will gain by cooking is just one of the many rewards. Perhaps one of the biggest rewards is the time spent together, but as you continue on your baking quest don’t forget to mash those ripe bananas with a fork—and yes I can’t resist saying it . . . May the fork be with you!
Has your child been your baking partner yet? What recipes have you tried together? What tips do you have for cooking with young kitchen padawans? Share your thoughts in the comments!
- Interested in finding info on a cooking school for children or summer camps to help get your kids in the kitchen? Check out iquriouskids for some great options in Houston like:
- Lori Hinze provides hands-on experiences that kids need to get interested in healthy eating at Cook Learn Grow Houston