Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Thursday, April 8, 2010

mmmmm... Muffins!

Deacon and I had fun baking muffins today! I wanted a quick project, so we used a boxed muffin mix. Deacon has recently started cooking with me, and loves it. He is always asking me for the step stool so he can make something.

It can be a little scary to cook with young children. Believe me when I say that I am a control freak. I would never cook with the kids if it meant cleaning batter off the ceiling when we are done! Plus Deacon has a tendency to taste the ingredients or batter if he is left alone for any amount of time. My kids have started out doing small cooking tasks, adding more as they get older.

Here is how the muffin baking went:
  1. Deacon put muffin liners in the muffin tins while I got the rest of the ingredients ready and turned the oven on.
  2. I cut open the muffin mix and we dumped it into the bowl together.
  3. I measured the water and he carefully poured it into the bowl.
  4. I cracked the egg and added it to the bowl.
  5. We stirred the batter together with both of our hands on the wooden spoon.
  6. Deacon counted the muffins as I scooped the batter into the liners.
He was very excited to taste the muffins. I have to keep an eye on him or he will steal them off the counter while they cool.

When Lila and Deacon were younger they would just stand on the step stool by the counter as I cooked. Now that she is 4 ½, Lila can crack eggs into the bowl for me (then we wash her hands right away!), dump in measured ingredients, stir carefully, and spoon out dough onto a pan if we're making cookies. Plus she helps me dry off fruits and veggies when we wash them while making meals.

Today we used Trader Joe's Triple Berry Bran Muffin Mix, which was very good. It contains whole wheat flour, bran, and dried fruit (among other ingredients) – just add egg and water. The resulting muffins tasted great and had 7 grams of fiber and only 150 calories.

We often make bran muffins using The Original All-Bran Muffin recipe, which are also yummy. Sometimes we add whatever fruit is in the house, or a teaspoon of jam in the center.

Today's tip: Let your kids help you cook, even if you're just preparing a snack.

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