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  • Rosie Marsh

Baking with children

This week, our entertainer Alice takes over and tells us all about her passion for baking.

3 Easy Recipes for Children

And Why We Should Bake with Them More


I have always loved baking. When I was in school I would invite my friends round, and we would take over the kitchen and bake together. We would experiment with different recipes and make up some of our own. Ever since then I have loved to bake, for me it is a way to de-stress and unwind, but baking can have far more benefits that you may think. And this is even truer of baking with children.

Baking with your children can be a fun activity, it can occupy a rainy afternoon or even allow you to cook dinner with them helping (instead of causing mischief). But baking with your children can actually have lots of other, more unexpected benefits.

‘I think it’s essential for parents to cook with their children.’ Mary Berry


Nutrition

Perhaps the most obvious thing that baking can help children to develop, is a good understanding of nutrition. For instance, baking allows them to see how much sugar is in a cake or biscuit in comparison to a scone or bread. This can allow them to make informed decisions when choosing snacks. Moreover, baking opens you up to conversations about good food choices, and healthy versus unhealthy foods, or fresh food versus packaged. However, an understanding of nutrition is only one of the things that baking can help to improve. Baking can also help develop, among other things, maths, hygiene and even confidence.

Recipe 1



Banana Pancakes

Makes 3-4

Ingredients-

· 1 Banana

· 3 tbs Pain flour (approx.)

· 1tsp coconut oil (or your favourite alternative.)

Method-

1. Peel and chop the banana and place in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the banana until there are no chunks.

2. Add the flour 1 tbs at a time, mixing into the banana until it forms a thick batter. It should resemble a thick cake mix and begin to hold its own shape. Depending on how you like your pancakes, and the size of the banana you may need to adjust the amount of flour.

3. Place a frying pan on the hob on a high heat and add your oil. Let the oil cover the pan and start to warm, then add a small blob of batter (approx. the size of a 5p). Wait until this piece of batter begins to sizzle then add tablespoons of batter around the pan to form 3-4 pancakes.

4. After around 3 minutes, or when the bottom begins to go a dark golden brown, flip the pancakes over. Press each pancake lightly with the back of your spatula to flatten them; this allows them to cook more evenly.

5. Leave for another 3 minutes, or until browned and move to a plate to serve. I like to serve mine with chocolate spread, fruit, or jam.

Once you have perfected your pancakes you can begin to add other flavours. Some of the things I like to add to the batter are oats, cinnamon, or blueberries.



Maths

Maths might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the benefits of baking, but, baking can be an interesting way of approaching maths with your children. Baking can help to give context to maths by allowing children to use it in a real-life situation. For example, when you measure your ingredients you are not only learning about weights and how they work, but also numbers and even adding and subtracting. Additionally, when you set a timer this gives a specific reference point for how long that time is in real terms and how to tell and use time.


Recipe 2


Breakfast Egg Muffins

Makes 6

Ingredients-

· 3 Eggs

· 1tbsp Milk

Your choice of toppings i.e.-

· Ham

· Red peppers

· Spring onions

· Bacon

· Cheese

· Mushrooms

Method-

1. Preheat oven to 180°.

2. Spray a cupcake/muffin tray with oil. Alternatively use a piece of kitchen towel to spread oil around the inside of each moulds.

3. Using a frying pan cook of any of the topping which require pre-cooking, this could include bacon, raw meat or any vegetables that you prefer softened. Once ready set aside.

4. In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. The longer you whisk this for the airier the muffins will be.

5. Once thoroughly whisked add your toppings and stir until fully incorporated.

6. Pour into the muffin tray and, if you want to, add a sprinkle of cheese to the top of each.

7. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

I like to have these for breakfast as they can be made in advance and kept in the fridge. They are best served warm with a little ketchup.



Confidence

Helping to make something for the family, whether it be some cakes, or the family meal can help to build your child’s confidence. It can give them a sense of achievement, of fulfilling a task and providing for others. Allowing them to follow simple instructions with something to show for it at the end will reinforce their belief in their ability to do so. Furthermore, this develops their ability to follow instruction which can develop into other skills such as using playing sports or computer skills. The easier they find it to follow instructions and the more success they have in these individual achievements, the more confidence they are able to build.


Recipe 3



Granola Bars

Makes 1 tray

Ingredients

· 300g Oats

· 300ml Milk (I prefer coconut)

· 1tsp Cinnamon

· A big squidge of Honey

· 20g Mixed berries

Method-

1. Preheat oven to 200°.

2. Place all your ingredients into a bowl and mix until completely incorporated.

3. Empty into a baking tray and spread evenly.

4. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into bars.

This is another recipe that I like to add new things to and play around with. It works really well with some banana or blueberries, or even some mixed nuts. I like to eat these as a mid-morning snack, they’re very good with a cup of tea.


This is just the start of the benefits of baking with your children, but needless to say, whether baking becomes something your children love, or just stays a fun activity for now, the skills they gain from it will benefit them no end!

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