Cooking for Children Tips

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How do I store homemade baby food?

Baby Food Containers

To store your homemade baby food, empty baby food jars work well, or you can buy air-tight reusable food storage containers in the two ounce size.

   
Do you have an easy recipe for teething biscuits?

Teething Biscuits

For households with wheat or gluten allergies, this is a winner! Preheat over to 425 degrees

1 cup rice flour

1 cup rice with banana infant cereal

3 T cooking oil

ice water

In a large bowl, mix together flour and cereal, gradually stir in oil. Stir in ice water a little at a time just until the dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the bowl. Dough will be very sticky! Put the dough in a plastic bag, cut a hole in the bottom corner of the bag and pipe squares, hearts, circles or other shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 -12 minutes and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for banana oatmeal?

Banana Bread Oatmeal

3 cups fat-free milk
3 Tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
2 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed
2 to 3 Tbsp coarsely chopped toasted pecans

In medium saucepan, bring milk, brown sugar, spices and salt to a gentle boil; stir in oats. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute for quick oats, 5 minutes for old fashioned oats, or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Remove oatmeal from heat. Stir in mashed bananas and pecans. Spoon oatmeal into four cereal bowls. Top with yogurt or sliced bananas, if desired.

   
Do you have a recipe for oatmeal bites?

Chocolate Oatmeal Bites

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla

Put the sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk into a saucepan. Cook mixture over high heat until it begins to boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and continue to boil for four more minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove pan from the heat. Add the oats, nuts and vanilla to the saucepan. Stir until well mixed. Drop the mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper to cool.

   
Can I make my own Lunchables?

Homemade Lunchables

Kids Love Lunchables. I make Mom-ables!

I use a 2-sectioned container and put crackers into the larger section. In the smaller section I place a dollop of peanut butter, or some lunchmeat and/or cheese cut into cracker sizes. At school they then have the fun of making their own lunch, without the high cost.

   
Do you have a recipe for fruit leather?

Fruit Leather

1 cup fresh strawberries
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp almond extract

Place fruit in a blender and process until smooth. Strain fruit to remove skin and seeds. Stir in honey and almond extract.

Cook mixture over very low heat in a non-stick skillet, stirring frequently, for 1 hour until thickened.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Pour the thickened mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread to form an 8x12" rectangle.
Bake with oven door slightly ajar for 6 hours. Remove from oven and cool, slice into strips. Store fruit leather in an airtight container.

   
Do you have a recipe for a fun craft for kids?

Marshmallow Snowmen

Marshmallows
Marshmallow creme
Raisins
Candy corn
Mini M&M's

Build each snowman by putting marshmallow cream between each of 3 marshmallows. Add raisins for the eyes and mouth, candy corn for the nose and arms, and M&M's for the buttons.

   
Do you have a recipe for a fun dessert for kids?

Cup of Dirt

chocolate cookie crumbs
chocolate pudding
gummy worms

Put chocolate pudding in glass serving bowls, top with a half inch of chocolate cookie crumbs. Push a few gummy worms down into the pudding, so they are about halfway under the surface. Serve.

   
Do you have a recipe for haystacks?

Haystacks

1 (12 ounce) bag Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1 (6 ounce) bag Butterscotch Chips
1 (6 ounce) container of Chow Mein Noodles

Combine the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a microwave safe bowl. Cover bowl, and microwave at medium power until chips are melted, stopping to stir after each minute. Remove from microwave and stir in noodles. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm.

   
Do you have a recipe for a fun drink for kids?

Bug Juice

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries, defrosted
1 (6-ounce) can lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 quart ginger ale
2 cups raisins
Gummy worms

Mix the strawberries and lemonade concentrate in a blender until smooth and thick. Gradually add ginger ale. Transfer the beverage to a punch bowl. Stir in any remaining ginger ale and the raisins. Float a few of the gummy worms, and dangle some over the side of the bowl.

   
Do you have a tip for baby food?

Squash Baby Food

Buy several acorn squash. Cut in half, remove the seeds, and place the squash flesh side down in a shallow baking pan in one inch of water. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour. Place the cooked squash in a blender or food processor, puree, adding a little of the water from the baking pan. Spoon into containers, allow to completely cool and freeze.

   
Do you have a tip for baby food?

Peach Or Plum Baby Food

To make peach or plum baby food boil with skins on, peel and puree.

   
Do you have a recipe for baby food?

Homemade Carrots For Baby

To save time and sanity buy two 16-ounce bags of pre-cut carrots. Place the contents of one bag in a covered dish and add a 1/2 inch of water. Microwave for ten minutes. Stir and cook for ten minutes more. Continue to stir and cook until soft. Repeat process with the second bag. Put in blender and puree. Use the water in the microwave dish to soften the mixture. Continue to puree until you have reached the desired consistency. Cool, spoon into containers and freeze.

   
Do you have a recipe for baby food?

Peas Or Green beans

To make homemade peas, or green bean baby food, here is a quick and easy way. Buy two bags of 16-ounce frozen peas/green beans. Cook in microwave or boil, until soft. Puree in blender, adding water as needed.

   
I need a fun after-school snack...

Banana Taco

1 8-inch flour tortilla
2 to 3 Tbsp peanut butter
2 to 3 Tbsp jelly
1 banana, peeled

Place tortilla on a paper towel. Microwave 10 to 20 seconds on HIGH until the tortilla is warm and pliable. Spread tortilla with peanut butter, and top with your favorite jelly.

Place banana to the side of the tortilla and roll up. You might want to tuck the bottom half up first to reduce spills.

   
What is a quick, healthy snack that my kids will eat?

Banana on a Stick

1 banana, cut in half crosswise
2 popsicle sticks
1 container vanilla yogurt
cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs

Insert a popsicle stick into the flat end of each banana half.

Cover the banana halves with yogurt, and then roll them in cookie or graham cracker crumbs.

   
What is a quick, healthy snack that my kids will eat?

Marshmallow Octopus

Large Marshmallows
Small Pretzel Sticks
Mini M&M's
Peanut butter

Put 8 pretzel sticks in a marshmallow to form arms of the octopus. Add small dabs of peanut butter to hold the M&M's (eyes) in place.

   
What is a fun dessert I can make with my kids?

Cinnamon Toast

8 slices of White bread
1/4 stick of butter, softened
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Sugar
1 cup Brown sugar

Toast bread until golden, spread with butter.

Mix together cinnamon, sugar and brown sugar. Sprinkle on buttered toast.

Toast under a broiler or in toaster oven until bubbly.

   
Do you have a simple recipe for baby food?

Pureed Vegetables

1 White Potato, diced
1/2 Zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/2 Celery stalk, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped

Place vegetables into a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until all ingredients are tender.

Put cooked vegetables into a blender or food processor with 2 Tbsp. of the cooking liquid.

This can be served immediately, or frozen in individual portions in an ice cube tray.

   
How can I have my kids decorate cakes?

Decorating Cakes

Let your kids have fun decorating cakes. First have them frost the cake with white frosting. Then let them dip cookie cutters into food color. Press them into the frosting making imprints. Make sure you cover your work area so you don't end up with any stains.

   
How can I keep lunch box foods cold?

Keeping Foods Cold

During warm seasons, freeze juice or drink boxes for lunches the night before. They will thaw by lunchtime, while doing double-duty keeping your other foods chilled.

   
Do you have a recipe for Pedialyte?

Homemade Pedialyte

1 quart water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of unsweetened Koolaid (optional)

Mix ingredients together. Refrigerate leftovers.

   
Do you have a recipe for Oreo milkshakes?

Oreo Milkshake

20 oreo cookies, divided
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
whipped topping, for garnish

Crumble 16 of the cookies. Blend ice cream, milk and crumbled cookies in electric blender at high speed until smooth. Pour into 4 (8 ounce) glasses. Top with whipped topping and a whole cookie.

   
Do you have a recipe for a crescent sandwich?

Ham 'n' Cheese Crescents

1 package refrigerated crescent rolls
prepared mustard
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped cooked ham

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Unroll crescent rolls. Tear along perforations. Place 4 triangles on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread lightly with mustard. Sprinkle each with 1 Tbsp cheese and 1 Tbsp ham. Starting at the wide end, roll dough toward point. Bake at 375 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes.

   
Using bisquick for kids.

Bisquick

Bisquick has great, simple recipes for kids to follow. It'll make them feel like the best of cooks.

   
How do I make a milkshake?

Banana Split Milkshake

1 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
1/2 ripe banana
2 Tbsp powdered chocolate drink mix
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp white sugar

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. If consistency is too runny, add more strawberries and blend slightly.

   
Do you have a recipe for a Shirley Temple?

Shirley Temple

4 ounces ginger ale
1/2 tsp grenadine syrup
Thin slice of orange
Maraschino Cherries
ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in an Old-fashioned glass or small tumbler. Stir gently.

   
How do I make snowflakes?

Edible Snowflakes

Flour Tortillas
Oil

Using the same technique as cutting out paper snowflakes, make snowflake shapes out of flour tortillas. Put a touch of oil in a pan and fry tortilla until it is crisp. Top with one or more of the following:

powdered sugar
butter
cinnamon and sugar

   
How do I make apple dumplings?

Easy Apple Dumplings

1 package crescent rolls
1 apple, sliced thin
mini marshmallows
butter
cinnamon
sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Unroll crescent rolls into 8 triangles. Add about 3 or 4 thin apple slices. Add 4 mini marshmallows, and 1 small piece of butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Lift the corners and pinch together to seal. Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

   
Do you have a recipe for a banana shake?

Chocolate Banana Shake

1 cup cold milk
3 Tbsp instant cocoa mix
1 banana, sliced
1 pint vanilla ice cream

In blender, combine milk and cocoa mix. Cover. Blend until cocoa mix is dissolved. Add banana and ice cream by spoonfuls. Cover and blend until smooth. Serve.

   
Do you have a recipe for popsicles?

Chocolate Chip Banana Popsicles

1 cup 1% chocolate milk
2 small, ripe bananas
1 (8 ounce) carton vanilla yogurt
3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
paper cups (3 ounce size)
wooden sticks

Using an electric blender or food processor; combine chocolate milk, bananas, and yogurt. Mix until smooth. Add chocolate chips and stir well with a spoon. Pour evenly into paper cups and cover with
aluminum foil. Insert stick through the foil and into the center of each cup.

Freeze for 5 hours. When ready to serve, peel off aluminum foil and paper cup. Makes 8 popsicles.

   
Do you have a recipe for chocolate spiders?

Chocolate Spiders

8 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
2 cups of miniature marshmallows
Shoestring Licorice, cut into 2 inch long pieces
Mini M&Ms

Melt the chocolate, and then let it stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the marshmallows, and then drop the mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a waxed-paper lined baking sheet. Press 8 pieces of licorice into each `spider` to make the legs. Use 2 mini M&M`s for the spiders eyes. Refrigerate until firm, about 20-30 minutes.

   
Do you have a recipe for 3 minute cookies?

3 Minute Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups Oats (quick or old fashioned), uncooked

In large saucepan, combine sugar, butter, milk and cocoa powder. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Continue boiling and stirring for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in oats. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm. Store tightly covered.

   
Do you have a recipe for Rice Krispie treats?

Rice Krispie Sandwiches

3 Tbsp butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp oil

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies, and stir until well blended. Press evenly into a buttered 13x9" pan.

When cooled, cut in half crosswise to form two large pieces. Melt chips in microwave, checking often and stirring until melted. Stir in oil, beat in powdered sugar and then add water. Spread mixture evenly over half of the cereal mixture and top with the other half to form a sandwich. Chill for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and serve.

   
Do you have a recipe for applesauce?

Quick Applesauce

4 apples
3 Tbsp honey
cinnamon

Chop apples and boil in 1/2 inch of water until apples are very soft. Add honey and sprinkle with cinnamon to serve. Serve warm or chilled.

   
Do you have a recipe for a purple cow?

Purple Cow

1/2 cup grape juice
1/2 cup ginger ale
1 Tbsp milk
Vanilla ice cream

Combine the first three ingredients with 1 scoop of ice cream together in a blender. Blend until smooth, pour into glasses and add a scoop of ice cream on top.

   
Do you have a recipe for a fun dessert for kids?

Aquarium Dessert

*Note...no quantities are given, because they aren't necessary. Make whatever amount you need.

Berry Blue Jello
Gummy fish or gummy sharks
small jelly beans for gravel

Prepare Jello as directed on package. Pour jelly beans to cover bottom of glass individual dessert dishes, or for a crowd you can make one big aquarium in a glass bowl. Pour Jello over jelly beans.

Refrigerate until Jello is partially set; about 1 hour, then add the gummy fish to the Jello.

Return to refrigerator until completely set.

   
Do you have a tip for baby food?

Green Veggies For Baby

Even your baby needs his green veggies, here is how to make some that are healthy for him. Take some ZUCCHINI or BROCCOLI, cook until tender, puree. Add water as needed.

   
Do you have a tip for baby food?

Banana Baby Food

When making banana baby food at home try this. Allow to fully ripen and then puree. Add water as needed.

   
Do you have a recipe for baby food?

Sweet Potatoes Baby Food

Poke holes in three sweet potatoes. Place in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove from oven and peel the skin. Use a hot pad and fork, being careful not to get burned. Chop into chunks and puree adding a little water. Cool, spoon into containers and freeze.

   
How do I prepare mashed potatoes for a baby?

Mashed Potatoes

It is OK to give baby mashed potatoes but, when doing so leave out the salt and butter and use the water from the pot to soften them.

   
What is a fun dessert I can make with my kids?

Popcorn Balls

1/2 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Corn syrup
3/4 cup butter
Salt
8 cups Popped popcorn (measure after popping)

Cook 1/2 cup molasses with corn syrup until thermometer reaches hard crack stage, about 270 degrees.

Stir in the butter and salt. Put popcorn in large bowl, and then slowly add the caramel mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat all of the popcorn.

Here's the part the kids enjoy...

Butter your hands lightly and shape the popcorn into balls, whatever size you prefer. Set them on wax
paper to harden. If they are not eaten right away, then wrap them in waxed paper.

   
What is a quick, healthy snack that my kids will eat?

Bugs on a Log

Peanut butter, cheeze whiz or cream cheese
Celery stalks
Chocolate chips or raisins

Fill stalk of celery with PB, cheeze whiz or cream cheese.

Sprinkle top of 'log' with raisins or chocolate chips.

   
Do you have a simple recipe for baby food?

Potato and Carrot Mash

Scrub 1 white potato, puncture with a fork and Microwave until done. Scrub and chop 1 carrot and steam in a few inches of water until tender.

Mash the potato and carrot together with a small amount of yogurt or butter.

Refrigerate leftovers.

   
What is a fun dessert I can make with my kids?

Rainbow Cake

1 box of Angel Food Cake Mix
Assorted Food Colorings
4 bowls

Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box.
Place equal amounts of the batter into each of the 4 bowls. Add food coloring of your choice into each bowl, and mix well with the batter. Let the kids spoon the different colors into the cake pan, making a wild pattern.

   
Can I make my own baby wipes?

Homemade Baby Wipes

1 roll strong paper towels (Bounty works well)

2 1/4 cup water
2 T. baby shampoo (for sensitive skin use Mennen Baby Bath)
1 T. baby oil

1 circular wipes container

Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll of towels in half so there are 2 half rolls. Remove the cardboard center from one of the rolls.

Combine the other ingredients in a bowl. Pour half of the liquid into the wipes container. Place the roll in the container on top of the fluid. Pour the rest of the fluid over the top of the roll. Cut the small opening of the container (where the wipes come out) to make it a bit larger. These wipes will last about 2 weeks then need to be replaced.

   
My kids want to make ice cream...do you have a recipe?

Ice Cream in a Can

You will need 2 clean lidded metal cans, one needs to be larger than the other. 1 pound and 3 pound coffee cans work great.

Into the smaller can, add...
1 cup of very cold milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs. chocolate syrup
...And then seal the lid tightly

Place the smaller can in the larger coffee can. Next, place a good amount of salt along with ice around the inside of the larger can, surrounding the smaller one. Try to get the smaller can centered within the larger can. Place the lid on the larger can. Let your kids roll the can around for about a half hour, and its ready to eat!

   
Any ideas for a quick appetizer?

Little Pizzas

Place Ritz* crackers on a microwavable plate. Squeeze Pizza Quick Sauce on each one. Add one piece of pepperoni, then top with mozzarella cheese. Microwave until melted. (Time varies with amount of crackers)

*Any brand will do

   
Do you have a recipe for teether cookies?

Teether cookies (Zwieback)

1/2 cup butter
2 cups milk
1 Tbs. salt
4 Tbs. sugar (divided)
2 Tbs. active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 egg yolks, beaten
8 cups unbleached flour

Warm butter, milk, salt and 2 Tbs. of the sugar over low heat. Remove from heat, and cool to a lukewarm temperature. In a separate bowl, dissolve yeast and the other 2 Tbs. sugar in the lukewarm water. Cover yeast bowl and let set until bubbles appear on the surface. Combine the milk and yeast mixtures and stir.

Beat egg yolks and then add to the mixture.

Slowly add 3 cups of the flour. Mix dough well, then add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time to make a soft dough. If the dough gets too stiff, you can stop adding flour...the 8 cups is only an approximation.

Turn dough onto a floured board and knead until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl, and turn the dough so it is covered with grease. Cover bowl and let dough rise until double in size. Roll dough into small (1 inch)
balls.

Place balls on a greased baking sheet 2 inches apart.

Let the dough rise until double in size. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 2 dozen Zwieback.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace