Kids in the Kitchen: Cooking Tips for Mini Chefs
Beautifully shot cookbook images of a mom cooking with her child look like a piece of cake (no pun intended). Commercials in which a mom is baking cookies with her kids look like memory-making moments. However, if you’re raising a real child, one who is clumsy, impatient, and hasn’t fully developed his or her fine motor skills (so, essentially, 99% of kids), you know it isn’t always picture perfect with them in the kitchen. In fact, when I bake with my kids, I can become impatient, clumsy, and lose count how many cups of flour I’ve added and have to start over.
With all of those caveats, I set out to find something I could make with my kids that wouldn’t be likely to fail. And after clocking many hours in the kitchen with and without my kids, I have discovered that the best (and least messy recipe) to make with them, at any skill level, is banana bread muffins.
To make my kids feel more involved – as though it’s truly their project and I’m just their sous chef –– I turned our kitchen table into a baking station, so they could sit in their booster seats or on their knees in a chair. That way, we’re in a contained environment and I don’t have to worry about either of them absconding with a cup of flour and decorating the place with it.
The best time to make banana bread muffins (or just bread) is when you have three over-ripe bananas that no one is going to eat. If you go through bananas quickly like my family does, the next time you’re at the store buy extra bananas: one for a homeless person, and three to put in a paper bag on your counter to get super ripe. A toddler or elementary aged child armed with a big fork will have fun mashing them up.
Needless to say, my kids were very proud of themselves (and I of them), not just because they held focus, but because they had fun. The cooking also boosted their confidence.
Banana Bread Muffins
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs beaten
2 cups of flour
¾ cup of sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. In one bowl, mash the 3 bananas with a fork. Add the eggs into the banana mixture and stir. In a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and incorporate until blended.
- To make 12 large muffins, use one large muffin tin and fill with cupcake wrappers. Use a large ice cream scoop and scoop the batter into each cupcake holder. To make mini muffins, line a mini muffin tin with mini cupcake wrappers and use a small ice cream scoop and scoop the batter into each wrapper.
- Bake muffins for 15-20 minutes. Use a toothpick to check if the muffins are done. If the toothpick comes out clean, they’re done.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days – if they last that long. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
What’s your favorite and yet oh-so-simple recipe you like to make with the kids?
If you have a personal story + recipe you would like to share, contact us at [email protected]Tags : confessions toddlers muffins bonding