Recipes With Hidden Learning Potential

Recipes With Hidden Learning Potential

Kids love to bake and cook so what better way to sneak a little hidden learning under the radar than disguised as something that also happens to be a lot of fun.

Here are a few recipes that you can make with your children which offer educational talking points.

Of course you can just follow the recipes and leave it at that, there are no rules, but if you do want to take it further then hopefully this will give you a good place to start from.

Domino Cookies from Learning 4 Kids

Domino Cookies from Learning 4 Kids

The recipe for these domino cookies inspired this article They are quite a smart idea and you don’t need anything fancy to make them.

If you don’t want to use sugar coated sweets then don’t … try raisins or chocolate chips.

You might not get enough dominoes to have a proper game but it will introduce the idea. A set of the real thing is quite cheap to buy or you could move on to making your own with cardboard and stickers.

For more details on this recipe visit Learning 4 Kids .

What can you talk about?

Learning 4 Kids backs up their biscuit recipe with a fantastic article which combines playing and learning using a simple set of dominoes. You can read it here.

Traffic Light Sandwiches from Planning With Kids

Traffic Light Sandwiches from Planning With Kids

This is pretty quick to do, although you might not thank me if it becomes a firm lunch box favourite, but it could be a way to encourage picky eaters to be a little more adventurous.

Get the kids to think about what other sandwich fillings could be used instead to create the traffic light effect.

For more information visit Planning With Kids.

What can you talk about?

You can go straight in here with a discussion about how many fruits and vegetables each person should eat in a day and why this is important. For more information visit the Change 4 Life site.

You can also talk about the Green Cross Code and crossing the road safely. You can read more about this at Road Wise.

Salt Dough Fossils from The Imagination Tree

Salt Dough Fossils from The Imagination Tree

You can’t eat salt dough so if you want to eat your fossils you will need to use a shortbread recipe for this activity instead remembering to scrub the shells before you start

However making them the way the tutorial suggests and then preserving them either with either a coat of acrylic paint or a glaze made with equal parts PVA glue and water is quite a cool idea.

For more information visit The Imagination Tree .

What can you talk about?

Do you have a beach near by that you could visit to look for real fossils?

Or perhaps there is a local museum with interesting fossils on display.

What else could you press in to the dough to make your own fossil? A plastic dinosaur figure perhaps.

You can visit Fossils Facts And Finds for some handy information to help you with your learning.

Chocolate Covered Kiwi Pops from Clean And Delicious

Kiwi Pops from Clean And Delicious

Kiwi fruit is cram packed with goodies … vitamins C, E and K, folate, potassium, fibre and antioxidants.

Apparently you can eat the skin and this gives you more fibre along with helping to preserve the vitamin C content. I’m going to be honest though I might need a little convincing before I sample kiwi fruit skin … perhaps hiding it under chocolate will fool me!

It couldn’t be much easier to make a lolly than this.

For more information visit Clean And Delicious. Why not have a dig around and see if you fancy trying any more of their recipes while you are there.

What can you talk about?

I actually have lots of questions so we must try this in our house …

Will the kiwi fruit go rock hard or will it be crunchy?

What will happen to the chocolate when you dip the frozen fruit in to it? Will it still be soft or will it crack when you bite it?

Will this work with other fruits containing a high percentage of water like water melon?

Homemade Burgers from BBC Good Food

Homemade Burgers from BBC Good Food

What is educational about a burger?

Well kids love burgers but fast food has a bad reputation and costs a fortune so why not have go at making your own?

Buy the best mince that your budget will allow for and after that the choice is yours … cheese or no cheese … pickle or no pickle … salad or no salad.

Why not let the kids get stuck in when it comes to shaping the burgers.

In order to keep the calorie content down don’t fry your burgers instead pop them under the grill or in to the oven.

A big bonus for the cook of the house is that once you have prepared your burgers they can be frozen so make a big batch and you’ve actually got your own fast food to hand when you need to it.

You can get the recipe for this burger by visiting BBC Good Food .

I can recommend baked chips, like the ones here at Cookie And Kate. Kate suggests using Russet potatoes but I just use what ever the supermarket has at the time. I haven’t tried soaking mine first though so I’m intrigued by what difference it will make. Don’t get hung up on creating perfect chips just chop your potatoes in to wedges, with the skin still on, and you don’t have to flavour them … mine are usually just simple potatoes and olive oil.

What can you talk about?

What do the children think? Do they prefer the homemade version?

What toppings could you add to make your burger more fun or to help top up your five a day quota?

Perhaps the kids would like to try looking for a recipe to make a veggie version.

Baked Apple Crisps from Kid Cultivation

Baked Apple Crisps from Kid Cultivation

For more information on how to make the baked apple crisps visit Kid Cultivation.

*Also along the same lines*

Microwaved Sweet Potato Chips from By Stephanie Lynn

Sweet Potato Chips from By Stephanie Lynn

For more information on how to make the sweet potato chips visit By Stephanie Lynn.

Obviously you don’t want to let your children loose with a kitchen mandolin or a sharp knife and so adult participation in this activity is key but children do love crisps and they are usually loaded with salt and fat so both of these recipes offer an interesting alternative.

If you don’t want to add sugar to the apple crisps or salt to the sweet potato crisps then don’t.

I’m not comfortable using a mandoline so we don’t have one but I’m going to have a go with a potato peeler … the crisps won’t be round but it’s not the end of the world.

What can you talk about?

In essence this is about looking for a healthier alternative to junk food, showing children that homemade can taste as yummy as the bought version and broadening horizons.

Crisps don’t have to be potato and they don’t have to be fried.

Rainbow Cupcakes from Good To Know

Rainbow Cup Cakes from Good To Know

The instructions from Good To Know use a cake mix, which is handy if you are pushed for time, but you can make your own cake batter from scratch using the BBC Good Food Victoria sandwich recipe.

This recipe is not for everyone as some children may need to avoid food colouring but it is fun to see how the cup cakes turn out.

For more information visit Good To Know.

What can you talk about?

What are rainbows and how are they formed in the sky? Find out more at Weather Wiz Kids and Explorable.

You can also look at how the colours change when the cakes are cooked along with making pastel rainbow cakes using less food colouring.

Try experimenting with how you put the coloured mix in the cake cases to make a swirl pattern or a marble effect.

Does the colour of the cake affect how you think it will taste?

Easy Bread from Kids Activity Blog

Easy Bread from Kids Activity Blog

Shop bought bread is loaded with chemicals and additives which extend it’s shelf life and keep it looking and tasting the way you expect your favourite brand to do.

With today’s busy life it’s unlikely that you will have the time to make bread on a regular basis but I can say from experience that children love baking bread so if you can find time during school holidays or at the weekend it’s worth giving it a go.

The kids might get fed up if the bread recipe requires a lot of kneading so a recipe tailored to little ones is essential which is the bonus of this featured easy bread.

Remember home made bread won’t last as long as shop bought but in our house that’s never a problem.

To find out how to make this bread visit Kids Activity Blog.

What can you talk about?

Plenty to learn and talk about here …

Why do you add yeast?

Why do you use warm water?

What happens to the yeast if the water is too hot?

Why do you have to leave the dough to rest?

You can visit Teacher Resources to find out how yeast works.

Why not use the dough to make your own pizza base, spread it with sauce and let the children choose their own toppings.

If you are inspired to try yourself I’m a big fan of River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who believes homemade bread should be accessible to everyone and you can find his basic bread recipe here.

Making bread is a time consuming activity however if you do have chance to try making your own bread the results are worth the effort … I highly recommend it.

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