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Easy, Fun Recipes for Young Children

by Dr. Heather Wittenberg | December 20, 2013 | Ideas | Learning Activities

We’ve bumped up the mealtime chatter in your home. We’ve ensured your little one can help safely in the kitchen – and learn a bunch in the process, too. Now, it’s time to cook! Here are two fool-proof recipes that young children love to make – and eat. From my family to yours – enjoy!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Power Balls

This is a very forgiving recipe – experiment with amounts and ingredients, and let your child call the shots. Start with your peanut butter and honey “base mixture”, add in your cereal of choice, and roll in any (or all!) of the options below. All the pouring, mixing, and messy rolling are wonderful fun. Then you get instant deliciousness, since no baking is required!

STEP ONE – Blend Together Base Ingredients

1 C peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (for peanut allergies, try almond butter or sunflower seed butter instead);

1/2 C honey

If the peanut butter and honey are cold, heat them in the microwave for 20 seconds to more easily blend.

STEP TWO – Optional Protein Power

Thoroughly mix in 1 C dried milk powder, if desired

STEP THREE – Pick Your Cereal

Add one of the following (or mix more than one, for a total of one cup)

  • I C oatmeal, uncooked, rolled or quick, or
  • I C Corn Flakes, or
  • 1 C Crispy Rice cereal, or
  • 1 C granola

Stir well into Base Mixture.

STEP FOUR – Roll and Coat

Roll about a tablespoon of the mixture into golfball-sized rounds. Wet your hands first if the mixture is very sticky. Then, roll the balls in any (or all!) of these yummy coatings:

Dried Toppings

Wheat germ (surprisingly delicious in this recipe)
Mini chocolate chips
Flaked coconut
Chopped Craisins
Chopped dried cherries
Cinnamon sugar
Cocoa powder
Chopped nuts

Store in the fridge, or freeze in a zip-top bag. They defrost nicely in lunch boxes, too!

Yummy Yogurt Parfait

Here are two versions of this simple, yummy, healthy treat.

PARFAIT VERSION

Place about a half cup of vanilla or maple yogurt into parfait cups. Select, rinse, and slice seasonal fruit, including:

  • bananas, sliced into “coins”
  • pears, peeled and cut as desired
  • grapes (cut into quarters for younger children and toddlers)
  • strawberries (leave on the green “handles” for the Yogurt Dippers version below)

Place each type of fruit into a small serving bowl. Allow kiddos to select their fruits of choice to place on top of first yogurt layer. Add a second layer of yogurt over fruit. Offer toppings for the second layer, including ANY of the dried toppings options from step FOUR in the recipe above. Eat immediately.

YOGURT DIPPERS VERSION

Some children don’t like their food to “touch” or be “mixed” with other foods. If this describes your kiddo, try it this way instead:

Place about a half cup of yogurt into a small bowl. Have your child select fruit chunks and dip into the yogurt before eating. Offer dried toppings as a “second step” dip.

What are your favorite recipes to make with young children? Please share!