I like eating granola plain and on yogurt because it’s yummy! It’s fun to cook with you, Mommy. – Anders, age 4
I simply adore playing with cars and trucks, building block towers, and playing outside with my rough and tumble boys. But sometimes, it’s fun to enjoy a hobby of mine with the kids.My 4-year-old has been pulling his step stool up to the counter to help me cook for years. This time together has not only been a great bonding experience for us, but I’ve been teaching him legitimate skills that he’ll need as he grows.
You’re welcome, future daughter-in-law. You’re welcome.
Today’s task: make granola! If there is one thing my boys devour, it’s Greek yogurt topped with granola. We like to make it ourselves because it’s easy, delicious, and I typically have all of the ingredients on hand. Most things I’ll make with or without my little sous chef by my side, but not granola. This is our recipe and we always, always make it together. It’s the one where we wear aprons and talk about fancy things like wet ingredients and dry ingredients. (Because let’s face it, I’m more of a cook than baker.)
What can YOU tolerate?
Whenever you are cooking with kids, determine how much you can handle. For me, it’s one child at a time. Our sweet younger brother (20 months) desires to climb up on the step stool to join in the fun, but it’s just too much for me. So he gets put in the high chair, we pull him up close, and give him some cooking “tools” of his own.
We all know it’s so important to include kids in the process of cooking, even if it makes a mess. My personal tolerance allows him hold the measuring cups “really strong” while I add ingredients instead of him scooping/pouring. Naturally, he loves dumping the ingredients into the bowl and he is my master stirrer while using the utensil of his choice.
Let’s get to it!
Here’s the starting line-up: oats, flax seed, brown sugar, and salt are up for the dry ingredients. The neighboring team calls for vanilla, oil (I use coconut oil), and honey for the wet ingredients. Combine them each separately, and then toss them all together to get acquainted. At this point I either pour it on a cookie sheet and bake it as is or throw in a handful of nuts if I’m feeling it. (Today I went for slivered almonds.) Bake at 300° for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. I store ours in a large mason jar in the fridge and any extra in the freezer.
Whatever you decide to make, be sure to include your kids in the process. The memories will last much longer than the cleanup.
What are your favorite recipes to make with kids?
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