Sunday, 1 February 2015

"Ready-made" cooking - learning in the kitchen

So my cooking with D over the last 2 weekends has been slightly different to usual. If you've read any of my "Toddler cooking" posts before you'll know that we normally cook from scratch, pretty basic things but usually healthy and easy for a toddler to do most steps.

Well as part of my end-of-year clear out I went through all our kitchen cupboards and found 2 Sweetpea Pantry boxes. I'd bought them ages ago and then completely forgotten about them - luckily their BBE was 31st January 2015 so we had a plan for the next 2 weekends :)

And in the end they ended up being much more than just a packet mix. They ended up being the vehicle for lots of learning in the kitchen.


These are gluten-free with no added sugar or salt and full of wholewheat goodness. We followed the packet instructions but added extra goodness in the form of a banana and fresh blueberries (mmmmm nutritional superfood). D did all the steps himself, except cooking the pancakes on the hob.

Slicing up the banana - knife skills

Whisking the egg after cracking it

Mixing carefully

Counting in the blueberries

Final mix


These were really tasty and I ended up eating lots of them because OH and oldest child were put off by the fruit in them I think! These are supposed to be healthy because they're gluten-free and have more omega oils etc in them but I wouldn't go as far to say they are actually good if you're on a diet (360kcal per 100g)… If that's the case I'd stick with my my three ingredient pancakes (see here) which really are guilt free!


These are packed with quinoa and oats to give “long-lasting energy”. You just need to add butter and honey so again, these were very simple to make and D could make them on his own (just needed some help with measuring out the butter and honey).

Careful (or not if you look closely! lol) pouring

Counting in spoonfuls of honey

Transferring mix from one bowl to another

Proud baker!

End result

The end product was okay but not delicious. The good point was I felt quite virtuous eating them (even though they had loads of honey in them!!) but they did leave a bit of an after-taste in the mouth. An advantage of that was that the kids were happy only having small portions and they lasted for several days – unlike when we have other cakes in the house!


So what learning experiences did D have?

We used the time to practice simple kitchen tasks and combine it with language skills – this toddler age is amazing as D is learning new words and picking up different phrases everyday.

These are some of the things we did:
-          he told me about all the different ingredients needed to make pancakes (flour, sugar and milk) – I was pretty impressed!
-          we talked about the importance of mixing gently but making sure everything had dissolved/missed thoroughly. He used words like “round and round” and “mix carefully”
-          he practised his pouring and whisking skills
-          we discussed various types of fruit and he counted out each blueberry before adding it to the mix. He used words like “more banana” and “blueberry gone”
-          he helped crack the egg – a skill that I think is pretty good for a 2 year old :)

So something different in the kitchen for us over the last few weeks. Taking the focus off the actual cooking made me realise just how many learning opportunities there are in our day-to-day lives. So in future I’m going to think about how to make all of the process as fun and educational as any end-product :)


I'm linking up with the #LittleChefs linky with Baked Potato Mummy here :)

1 comment:

  1. We love the grainy brainy pancakes from Sweetpea Pantry here. We put banana and blueberries in ours too, or apple and cinnamon :)
    The pizza dough is fab too and great for teaching basic skills. They are the only brand of packet mix I'll use and I would normally prefer to do it all from scratch like you.
    Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the fun of baking and forget that it can also teach important skills too.
    Thanks for linking up with #LittleChefs