Category Archives: Recipes for Kids

Recipes for Families, Toddlers, Kids, Fussy Eaters and Picky Eaters

Caramelized Banana Loaf

This recipe is so easy to whip together that my toddler could do it. In fact – she did!  Warning: the baking time is long at 2.5hrs – but the deep caramelized flavour is worth it.

Getting  kids in the kitchen is a great way to increase their exposures to foods, learn language skills, practice fine & gross motor skills as well as keeping them busy (and hopefully out of mess creating mischief). Fussy eaters get so many benefits from increased food exposures, including those away from mealtimes – read more here!

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8 ways kids can help in the kitchen & learn at the same time:

1) Measuring and tipping ingredients into the bowl helps with motor planning & learning about volume.
2) Mixing ingredients in the bowl is great for learning to control the speed of the spoon.
3) Threading wooden skewers is great for fine motor skills.
4) Mashing softened fruits or vegetables with a fork is great to learn about changing textures.
5) Cracking eggs into a separate bowl for more motor planning experiences.
**hot tip: use other bits of shell to scoop out shell that accidentally goes into your eggs.**
6) Hand over hand grating is great for sensory exposure – let them feel the fruit or vegetable as well as the vibration of the grater safely by controlling and holding their hand in yours away from the blades.
7) Practice counting and numbers by setting timers or helping to use scales.
8) Using cutters to make and learn shapes in dough, bread, fruits, vegetables and pancakes

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Caramelized Banana Loaf

Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
3 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 cup macadamia nut oil (or other oil / butter of your choice)
1 1/3 cups flour (you can use a combination of wholemeal and  plain white flour for this)
1/3 cup natural yoghurt (for dairy free opt for 1/2 cup almond milk instead)

Method (steps that kids can do are put in italics):

  • Line a loaf tin with foil (shiny surface facing inwards)
  • Preheat the oven to 130oC
  • Measure out the following ingredients into little bowls; bicarb soda, flour, natural yoghurt, oil, honey and sugar. You can also crack the eggs into separate bowl, check for shell & lightly whisk. This step is optional depending on your child’s involvement and skill set.
  • Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl with a fork – I like to use a plastic bowl with a non-slip bottom to assist my toddler with her tasks. Having a bowl that slips and slides is frustrating and difficult to process for the little chefs.
  • Add the bicarb soda, sugar and honey to the bananas and mix.
  • Mix in the following ingredients in this order:
         Eggs
         Macadamia Nut Oil
         Flour
         Natural Yoghurt
  • Pour the batter into the loaf tin
  • Put it in the oven for 2.5 hours or until it is cooked through (ie  a skewer or knife comes out clean)

This recipe is suitable for freezing by wrapping individual slices in cling film.  Take them straight from the freezer and put them into the lunchbox.

Do you have a tip for safely including your kids in the kitchen?

In our Sydney based workshops and classes for toddlers, preschoolers and early primary schoolers, I love to answer parents’ questions about engaging their children in activities with food.  Do you have any questions?  If you want to know when our classes are on – have a look here!

Happy Eating!

Simone

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July is Kohlrabi Month

The monthly challenge for July is Kohlrabi.Kohlrabi

It is so cute the way my daughter (now 27 months old) says “coal-wabby”.  Her enthusiasm for my monthly challenge has really been wonderful.  We use the new fruits or vegetables to do some sensory exploration and talk about different attributes of them, increasing her vocabulary and language skills.

We tried Kohlrabi as chips & pickled.  Homemade chips are a great way for children to experience new vegetables if they are particularly fond of crunchy textures.

Golden Beetroot, Candy Striped Beetroot and Kohlrabii sliced ready for baking into chips
Golden Beetroot, Candy Striped Beetroot and Kohlrabii sliced ready for baking into chips
Chips in beautiful winter hues
Chips in beautiful winter hues

Pickled in an asian style slaw was perfect for a few different applications
1) in a Vietnamese roll for a variation of a Bahn Mi
2) in Rice paper rolls with oyster sauce flavoured pork mince, bean shoots & fresh coriander

Kohlrabi Cooking: Rice Paper Rolls by Play with Food
Pork Mince, Bean Shoots, Asian Style Slaw & Fresh Coriander

 

Asian Style Carrot, Beet & Kohlrabi Slaw

Julienne your raw carrot, beetroot & kohlrabi so that they look like matchsticks.  In your bowl, make the pickling juice with the following ratio of ingredients 1 cup water: 2tbsp Caster Sugar: 2tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar: 1tsp Salt.  You will need enough to soak the vegetables in.

I like to let this sit for at least 30 min.  You can do this first and then make your chicken or pork ready to fill your rolls or rice paper rolls.

My toddler was not a fan of the texture of the rice paper roll but loved the pickled slaw.  Making rice paper rolls with a toddler is not a stress free event so I’d recommend saving this for a lazy Saturday afternoon.  Or use it as a mid-week dinner as a bahn mi style on a Vietnamese roll with some marinated chicken pieces and fresh cos lettuce.

Happy Eating!

Simone

 

Lady Marmalade

It’s a funny feeling when you accomplish something that a few years ago, I would have laughed out loud at it’s mere suggestion. Even more surreal to be blogging about it. We grew our own food & turned it into something beautiful. I feel like a total domestic goddess – that’s the bit that makes me laugh!

We have a substantial amount of blood oranges & lemons on our trees this year. So, I decided to try my hand at marmalade. I am chuffed with the results & how easy it actually was. Note: it does need overnight preparation.

Blood Orange & Lemon Marmalade

Ingredients:
3 blood oranges
1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar

Method:
Trim the top & bottoms of the blood oranges & lemons. Cut into quarters & remove the pithy cores & seeds. Finely slice each part of the citrus fruits & put in a bowl. Fill the bowl with water to make it up to 2 cups in volume. Leave to soak overnight.
In a saucepan, add the citrus water mix & sugar. Allow to boil with regular stirring. Simmer until the sauce thickens. It will thicken more after you remove it from the heat.

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Serving suggestion for this marmalade is with scones. Even better if the scones have been made with love!

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Happy eating!

June is Artichoke Month

Another Month = Another Challenge!

This month I took on artichoke.  This one was a real curve ball for me as the only time I have ever really used them was from a jar!  A 100g serve of Artichokes from a jar contains 320mg of sodium whereas steaming them fresh (without salt) gives 60mg of sodium. Depending on your total diet though this may not be a significant issue – it’s unlikely we are going to be adding a significant number of artichokes to our diet!  However, if you consider that the National Health and Medical Research Centre suggests we limit salt to 4g/day (1600mg sodium) and the Heart Foundation says 6g/day (2300mg sodium) and the average Australian consumes 8 or 9 times this amount, I think we should be mindful of what salt we add to our diet by using processed foods vs naturally occurring salt.

Now, I’ll jump off my nutritional science podium and chat to you about the main things I learnt during my challenge.

1) Preparing an artichoke is a bit perplexing but you can find awesome infographics on pinterest to help you!

Source of Image:  http://illustratedbites.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/prickly-treat/

How to Prepare and Artichoke

2) Talking about artichokes was a wonderful language building exercise for my toddler.  We looked at pictures of them on the internet and talked about what they may feel like before we went to the shops to choose some to cook.  My daughter was quite the sight walking around the green grocers with her “choke fwowers”. I figured that they did look like flowers and some multi-syllable words are still a bit tricky.  (The artichoke is actually the flower bud harvested before the flower blooms).  The preparatory talks about artichokes, built some excitement about going to the shops.  As you may have seen in my previous post about vegetable exposures away from mealtimes,  I did creatively use going to get the artichokes as a “bribe” to get her off the Peppa Pig coin operated ride and into the green grocer.

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3) I made an Artichoke, Lemon & Tomato cob loaf with my steamed artichoke hearts that was really yummy and simple. Lemon is in season now & so very fragrant in this bread. I loved it served with some good quality butter, fresh ham & a side salad. The loaf is big enough for a light lunch for 2 adults & 2 kids.
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Artichoke, Lemon & Tomato Cob Loaf

Ingredients:
1 Artichoke Heart
1 Tomato, Roughly Chopped
Zest from 1/2 Lemon
1/4 cup Parmesan, Finely Grated
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 cup Self Raising Flour
1 Egg
Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

To prepare the artichokes, I trimmed it as per the above infographic.  Instead of putting them in the pot with salted water, I used a bamboo steamer and no salt – this worked well and in 20mins I had lovely steamed artichokes.  I tried one with a lemon & pepper yoghurt dipping sauce, which was OK.  I didn’t actually try to get my daughter to try the artichoke like this.  Scraping the flesh away from the leaves with your teeth is interesting but a bit of work for the limited fleshy artichoke that you get.

On my remaining artichoke, I cut away the hard leaves & was left with the heart.  I roughly chopped up the heart & yielded about 1/4 cup of chopped pieces. To the bowl I added the remaining ingredients. My toddler did some stirring & kneading of the bread with me. We put it on a dusted baking tray in the preheated (180oC) oven for about 30mins (until it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom of the loaf).

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Do you have a favorite artichoke recipe?
Happy Eating!

Dinosaur Cakes

So, I felt bad that my princess cakes may have excluded the boys. Today I asked my daughter what kind of cake would be green & she roared back at me “saurus cake”,  (ie. Dinosaur cake in Ellie speak).

We set about a little ingredient experiment to change up our princess cake recipe to make them green instead of orange.  We exchanged the finely grated carrot with a cup of loosely packed baby spinach and omitted the cinnamon.

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Pouring the batter from the blender into the waiting mini-muffin & patty cake tins is a great job for toddlers. You can also do some counting practice at the same time & we had some fun roaring like dinosaurs as we worked. The result is a moist & dense coconut flavoured mini cake that is egg free, gluten free, low in fat and packing some great vegie nutrients.

We decorated ours with a thin spread of nutella (like dino mud) and some shredded coconut. Have your child use a toddler knife to spread the nutella for motor planning practice. They will feel a great sense of achievement with their decorating.

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We used our the busy mums store plate as a work surface for the decorating. The plate provides learning opportunities from colour recognition (toddler), number recognition (preschooler) to equation practice (primary schoolers). The plates are great quality & likely to last us that long! They are designed & sold by a local mum. Supporting local business is important to me- hence the little plug here! :p

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Dinosaur Cakes

3/4 cup rice flour
1tbsp chia seeds, soaked in 2tbsp cold water for at least 10min
1 cup of loosely packed baby spinach
1/3 cup cooked sweet potato
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1tbsp butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180oC and grease your patty cake tin (or you can use mini cup cake holders). I used spray on coconut oil.

Put all ingredients into the blender. Whizz until all ingredients are well combined.

Pour batter into cake tin & bake for about 20mins (until cooked through). Tip: the mixture does not rise so fill the tins to the brim. Gently shake to level out the batter in the tin. This mix should make approx 24 mini-cakes.

To decorate these cakes we used nutella & shredded coconut.

All toddler cooking should be supervised.

Happy Eating!

Dinosaur Cakes

So, I felt bad that my princess cakes may have excluded the boys. Today I asked my daughter what kind of cake would be green & she roared back at me “saurus cake”,  (ie. Dinosaur cake in Ellie speak).

We set about a little ingredient experiment to change up our princess cake recipe to make them green instead of orange.  We exchanged the finely grated carrot with a cup of loosely packed baby spinach and omitted the cinnamon.

image

Pouring the batter from the blender into the waiting mini-muffin & patty cake tins is a great job for toddlers. You can also do some counting practice at the same time & we had some fun roaring like dinosaurs as we worked. The result is a moist & dense coconut flavoured mini cake that is egg free, gluten free, low in fat and packing some great vegie nutrients.

We decorated ours with a thin spread of nutella (like dino mud) and some shredded coconut. Have your child use a toddler knife to spread the nutella for motor planning practice. They will feel a great sense of achievement with their decorating.

image

We used our the busy mums store plate as a work surface for the decorating. The plate provides learning opportunities from colour recognition (toddler), number recognition (preschooler) to equation practice (primary schoolers). The plates are great quality & likely to last us that long! They are designed & sold by a local mum. Supporting local business is important to me- hence the little plug here! :p

image

Dinosaur Cakes

3/4 cup rice flour
1tbsp chia seeds, soaked in 2tbsp cold water for at least 10min
1 cup of loosely packed baby spinach
1/3 cup cooked sweet potato
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1tbsp butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180oC and grease your patty cake tin (or you can use mini cup cake holders). I used spray on coconut oil.

Put all ingredients into the blender. Whizz until all ingredients are well combined.

Pour batter into cake tin & bake for about 20mins (until cooked through). Tip: the mixture does not rise so fill the tins to the brim. Gently shake to level out the batter in the tin. This mix should make approx 24 mini-cakes.

To decorate these cakes we used nutella & shredded coconut.

All toddler cooking should be supervised.

Happy Eating!

Kids Love Chicken Meatballs

Observing the children who participate in my classes each week, I definitely see lots of patterns emerge about what kids do and don’t like to eat.  These patterns fit in so nicely with the current literature, studies and the tools I demonstrate.  I do find that MEAT is either a “Love it” or “Leave it” for most kids.  Meat is a textural minefield and many of the problems result from how it is prepared.  I obviously don’t cover meat in my classes – I only do fruits and vegetables – however, the routines we learn in class for the fruits and vegetables are directly transferable to your kitchen & table.

I do see children that have had allergies or currently have allergies.  A common allergy is egg.  Did you know that you can substitute egg with chia seeds?  (Well yes, if you have seen my post last week for princess cakes, you would already know this.  The princess cakes are egg & gluten free and are a yummy toddler approved morning tea.)

For those playing at home with the materials I have given you in class and are trying to assist your child overcome a food jag, this is a recipe that you can use if you are transitioning to whole pieces of meat from processed meat (eg. wanting your kids to have chicken breast as opposed to processed chicken nuggets).  It’s also perfect for families that have to consider an egg allergy.   Families should aim to have the one meal and this is a great recipe that will satisfy everyone.  Use the best chicken mince that you can & the texture of the balls will be between that of the chicken nugget & a chicken breast.  You can spice it up as you please (however, remember radically changing the taste profile for food jaggers is the final step in the transition.)

Chia & Chicken Balls | Why they are great for fussy kids | Play with Food

Recipe:

  1. Soak 2tsp of chia seeds in 4tsp of water for at least 10mins until gluggy.
  2. In the meantime, sautee 1 clove of finely chopped garlic & a rasher of finely chopped bacon.
  3. Then once cooked & in a separate bowl, combine the bacon mix, 1/2 cup multigrain breadcrumbs, 2tbsp tomato paste, 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce, chia mix and 350g chicken mince.
  4. Roll into balls & cook in the pan

If you are interested in learning more about our toddler, preschooler or 5-7yo class programs.  Have a look here for our current schedule!

If you have any questions about this recipe, food jagging or just love chicken meatballs – leave me a comment below!

Happy Eating!
Simone Emery