Yesterday I hosted my first toddler cooking class. I have done a few cooking classes for kids in the past and specifically for toddlers in a private crèche last year and I have come to realize how much I enjoy working with children. Their purity, curiosity and sincerity make every class exciting and filled with laughter.
Involving toddlers in cooking can make them eat healthier
Of course my biggest inspiration to organize cooking classes for children is my daughter. I have started to involve her in the kitchen a little after she turned one year old. At first I did this to keep her entertained so that I can finish preparing our meal. But then I quickly realized that letting her see and be part of the cooking process had a few more positive effects:
- It sparked her curiosity. She would literally want to try every single ingredient that was laid out in front of her. This means chopped avocados, broccoli, tomatoes, dips and sometimes even raw pumpkin.
- It made her feel independent and in control. The cutest thing is to hear her explain what she made to her dad at the dinner table.
- She learned a lot about texture and shape, and I learned how she prefers certain foods to be prepared. She always tries the food that I offer her (and sometimes she might refuse it after she tries it), but to me this means that she has no fear of new food. This is important.
Building a healthy relationship with food
It is key to lay the right foundation and relationship with food from an early age. Our children will quickly learn to gravitate towards healthier food and choose it when we serve it at home, because they will have established a positive connection with it. I am not saying they won’t like sweets (let’s be real), but it is much easier to keep a healthy balance without difficulties.
The best time to change your lifestyle and consume a fresh and wholesome diet is NOW. This means, that even if you’re already an adult, or a teenager or have a “picky eater”, there is still a possibility to improve that lifelong relationship with the food we consume on a daily basis.
Making fruits and veggies fun
But let’s get back to the toddler cooking class. We made delicious muffins, which contain fruit and vegetables. The children helped chop the vegetables and mashed the bananas. We discussed their texture and color. At the end each child had at least one muffin (some even had three!) so I call this recipe a success. It is a great breakfast or snack option. I tried the recipe without an egg (in case of allergies), but the result was not good. The muffins turned out quite rubbery and didn’t rise well.
Here is the recipe for you to try at home, and if you have children, by all means – let them help you prepare them!
I will soon post the next date for another toddler cooking class. So if you’d like to stay up to date, make sure you sign up for my newsletter.
Muffins with fruits and veggies
- Dry ingredients:
- 130g whole-wheat spelt flour
- 70g oat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 45g coconut or cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon Wet ingredients:
- 2 eggs
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 80ml apple sauce
- 80g carrot, grated
- 60g zucchini, grated
- 45ml coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 190 C degrees.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, add the mashed bananas, apple sauce, grated carrot and zucchini and oil. Mix well.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients together to create a batter. Don’t over-mix it.
- Line a muffin tray with muffin paper and scoop the batter onto it.
- Place the muffins in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Once baked, take the muffins out of the muffin tray and place on a cooling rack to cool down.