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Kids in the kitchen: These healthy baked treats won’t disappoint

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Kids in the kitchen: These healthy baked treats won’t disappoint

If your kids can sniff out a single grated carrot masked in bolognese sauce at 100 metres, you’ll know how hard it is to convince them to eat more of the good stuff. And while popular advice says that hiding fruit and vegetables in their food can be a clever way to level up their nutrition, it doesn’t help much in the long term if they're fighting you all the way.

Enter: family time in the kitchen. Many experts believe that children are more open to trying new foods if they’ve had a hand in making them. Why? We don’t really know. But studies suggest it’s because food preparation can be fun for kids. Based on that alone, we reckon it’s worth enlisting your picky eaters to help with these simple, healthy bakes.

We’ve pulled together three healthier-than-usual recipes for kid-friendly snacks (because, baby steps) for you to try. From reduced sugar banana bread to pumpkin cookies, there’s bound to be something they’ll enjoy. Even better, it counts as an indoor winter kids activity – just the thing to try out on a rainy day.

Lower sugar banana bread

@yummytoddlerfood has given 2020’s favourite bake – banana bread – a makeover. Her recipe boasts half the sugar but all of the taste. Enlist the kids to mash up the bananas with a fork before you start.


Image source: @yummytoddlerfood

Ingredients:

  • ½ C unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 ½ C mashed very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C plain flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with olive oil spray.
  3. Add butter, bananas, eggs and vanilla to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in flours, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack completely. Slice and serve (or freeze in individual portions).

For quick breads like this one, you’ll need a loaf tin. Try David Jones, Woolworths, Coles, BIG W or Bed Bath N Table.

Chocolate chip oat muffins

This muffin recipe from @weelicious is the ultimate in healthy comfort food. The addition of oats means extra fibre, and there’s no refined sugar or butter to be found. Tip: The chocolate can be subbed for trail mix.


Image source: @weelicious

Ingredients:

  • ¾ C rolled oats
  • 1 ½ C plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ C honey
  • ½ C buttermilk
  • ½ C vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • ¾ chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Mix the first six ingredients in a bowl to combine.
  3. Whisk remaining ingredients in a separate bowl until combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Fold ½ C of the chocolate chips into the mixture.
  6. Fill 12 greased muffin cups to ¾ full. Sprinkle over remaining chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin pie cookies

Made with real pumpkin, these healthy cookies from @mylovelylittlelunchbox are a great way to incorporate more veg into your little ones’ winter snacks. Plus, there’s lots of mixing to keep kids entertained.


Image source: @mylovelylittlelunchbox

Ingredients:

  • ¼ C rapadura sugar
  • 1 ½ C wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C rolled oats
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • ½ C pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ C coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 C pumpkin puree

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set them aside.
  3. Place sugar, flour, baking powder, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut oil and pumpkin to the dry ingredients. Mix to combine.
  5. Place tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared trays leaving room for the cookies to spread.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool slightly before placing on a rack to cool completely.

Haven’t got baking trays? Stock up at David Jones, BIG W and Bed Bath N' Table.

For all your fresh ingredients, head to Woolworths, Coles and Naked Foods.

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