Schoolʼs out for a whole week, which means as parents, we need to keep the kiddos occupied! While vacations and outings are always fun, Iʼve always tried to use this time with my munchkin to get him involved in learning how to cook. Starting with some fun snacks and treats is a great way to get them interested in where their food comes from and the best part is that it keeps them occupied and feeds them at the end of it all… that’s what I call a two for one!
While youʼll still need to supervise them, here are a few tips to help the process go smoothly!
Get them installed properly. If your kiddos are still little, they might have a hard time seeing what’s going on at the kitchen counter, so either set them up at the kitchen table or get them a step ladder so they can be comfortable and at the ideal height.
Use kid-friendly tool, gadgets, and appliances*. This will let them feel involved and will ensure there arenʼt any unpleasant accidents!
Let them express their creativity. This is the perfect learning situation, so encourage them to taste, experiment and discover new ingredients and combinations.
Have fun!!! Other than enforcing safety rules… let loose and have fun, your kids will see how much you are enjoying this, and they will too. Together time is precious because before you know it theyʼll be out the door and off to college, so forget about the dishes, clean up later!
*NOTE: parental supervision is always recommended and suggested safety guidelines should always be followed.
Not sure what to make? Here are some delicious snacks to get you started!
Dehydrated Fruit and Veggie Chips
Store bought potato chips are tasty but not an ideal snack for growing kids. I absolutely love dehydrating my sonʼs favourite fruits and vegetables to make a crunchy snack. All you need is a mandolin / slicer and a dehydrator. A couple of tips…
Avoid dehydrating very fragrant ingredients with plain ones as their fragrance will be shared. EX: pineapple will taint zucchini (learned from experience!).
Have fun with seasoning combinations. My son loves a pinch of maple sugar on granny smith apples and paprika on zucchini slices.
Make a big batch because the process is quite labor intensive and you can always store the leftovers for another day!
Fruit Smoothie Pop
It can be minus 30 out and my son still asks for ice cream and popsicles. Prepare healthier versions of their favourite flavours in just a few minutes! All you need is a blender or food processor and popsicle molds. Hereʼs the recipe for our latest favourite flavour, Strawberry and coconut with fresh mint… yum!
- 4 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp honey
- 5-6 mint leaves
Add the frozen strawberries, coconut mild & honey in the food processor and pulse until the strawberries have broken up into small pieces. Blend on high for two minutes or until the texture is very smooth.
Add the mint and blend for 30-40 second or until the mint is chopped up and well incorporated.
Distribute the mixture into each popsicle mould and freeze over night.
Panini Press Banana French Toast Sandwiches
This recipe is fun to prepare, takes minutes to cook and tastes just like banana bread!
- Ripe banana 1 banana = 2 sandwiches
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- brown sugar
- walnuts optional
Arrange 4 slices of bread to face each other as you would while making a sandwich
Lightly butter the top side of each slice
Add thin slices of banana on one half and brown sugar & a sprinkle of cinnamon on the other and then sandwich together. OPTIONAL: If you are a fan of walnuts, add some crumbled walnuts over the banana slices before sandwiching together.
In a large bowl (make sure it's wide enough to fit the length of the slices) beat the two eggs with the milk & vanilla.
Preheat your panini press
Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture until well coated on all sides and then place on the hot panini grill.
Close the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the grill marks are medium brown and the sandwich is crispy.
Enjoy with a side of fresh fruit!