PARENTS NOTICE BOARD
Welcome to our April edition of Parents Notice Board
This month we will focus on benefit of cooking with children and we will share a few simple recipes that you and your family will definitely enjoy
LEARNING THROUGH COOKING
Baking and cooking can help your child’s language development. While baking, your child will be exposed to new words, expanding their vocabulary and allowing them to better understand the actions that go with different words. As you bake with them, you can explain what you are doing and be descriptive with each action.
Baking and Cooking are also a platform for building literacy skills. Between lists of ingredients, recipe steps to follow and the labels that are on foods (oil, flour, salt, etc.), children learn how print has meaning and conveys a message. Children also start to recognise common words, especially those found on labels of food items they often see.
Cooking activities are packed with opportunities to develop their fine motor skills. Children strengthen their fingers and develop coordination and control as they learn to peel, dice, stir, spread, break and slice. Get children involved as much as possible. Children could “help” you chop vegetables with a small knife or mix the wet ingredients into the dry when baking for example. Smaller children may just pretend to help you, but this kind of pretend play is just as important for their learning.
FINE MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
There is a lot of counting, measuring, and fractions involved in baking, which allows your children to practice and improve their math skills. Children learn about capacity and volume as they measure out ingredients. If a recipe calls for two eggs, have them count out the eggs. Children will also begin to learn the difference between measurements, like a teaspoon and tablespoon and by helping you weigh items on a scale. Setting your times for your baked treats can help them learn more about time, counting, and the difference between seconds, minutes, and hours.
Science does not need to be experienced in a lab! Science is learnt during real-life experiences, starting with butter melting in a pot. While cooking, children watch all kinds of food materials change form as they are heated, chopped, frozen and defrosted. They see how two materials can mix (flour and water), how some substances dissolve (the salt/ sugar disappears in the water) and how water evaporates from the pot when the soup for example is boiling.
Your child can also gain a boost in self-esteem when you bake with them! A lot of hard work, concentration, and patience go into baking and when it is finally done and they get to taste-test their hard work, they will feel accomplished and proud of their achievements. This can help boost self-esteem and help them feel more confident in their abilities.
A few recipes
We hope you will enjoy some delicious family recipes shared with us by Lorna Johnson our Compliance Manager.
Easy Veggie Fritters
30 g all-purpose flour
1 tbsp of cornflour
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
2 spring onions chopped
165 g frozen corn defrosted
145 g frozen peas defrosted
30 ml water
56 g shredded mozzarella cheese (we recommend mozzarella).
Olive oil for cooking
In a bowl, combine flours and the toasted sesame seeds. Add spring onions, corn and peas to the bowl, and mix until the veggies are coated with flour.
Mix in water. The mixture will turn sticky.
Mix in mozzarella cheese.
Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Wet your hands with water, form about 1⁄4 cup of mixture into a patty, and place it on the pan. Repeat with half of the mixture. Note: Wetting your hands with water helps prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
Flip over once the fritters hold their shape together and gently press down with a metal spatula. Cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy.
Repeat steps 4 and 5 with the remaining mixture.
This is a great way to get vegetables into your children. Peas and Corn are an excellent source of fibre, carbohydrates, and protein to help support young persons developing gut microbiome and to fuel growth and development. They are also a good source of zinc, folate, and vitamin B6 which collectively support immune function, neurodevelopment, andahealthymetabolism. Yellowcornalso helpssupporteyehealth. Lastlybothveggies are rich in antioxidants, which help support the body’s resilience against stressors
To store, place the fritters in an airtight container once completely cooled. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To freeze, place a piece of parchment paper in between the fritters. Store in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge when ready to eat.
To reheat, microwave for 45-60 seconds. Alternatively, place the fritters on a wire rack and reheat in oven 180 degrees C until crispy.
Honey Oat Bars (Dairy Free)
100g porridge oats
40g baking spread melted (or butter if not dairy free) 1tsp vanilla extract
Mix ingredients together in a bowl
Line a square tin (20cm) with parchment paper
Press into tin
Bake for 18 mins
Cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars
Suitable for freezing
Will store in an airtight container for 5 days
These are a perfect snack, all ingredients are easily found possibly most of them in your cupboards. These are great for snacks on the go. They contain no refined sugar too. An easy one to get the children to help you with! Remember honey not suitable for those under 12 months old
4 medium sized potatoes peeled and sliced
1 small head each of cauliflower and broccoli (or just one of them is fine too) 2 shallots chopped
200ml of milk or cream (half and half works too)
2 garlic cloves minced and added to the milk/cream
Cheddar cheese for grating
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
Cook the veggies together in boiling salted water for 8 mins. Drain and mash.
Layer a square baking dish with 1/3 of sliced potatoes.
Add mashed veggies and half of the chopped shallots
Grate cheese over then top with the next third of potatoes, vegetables and the other half of the shallots.
Finish with final layer of potato.
Pour over cream and milk garlic mix.
Top with more grated cheese. Bake in oven for 40 minutes. If cheese is browning and potatoes are still hard cover with tinfoil and continue baking
Cauliflower and Broccoli Potato Gratin
Perfect way to use up these vegetables in one go. This recipe calls for a small head of each. They are mashed so even those who may not be big fans of either should enjoy them. Also the creamy melted cheese helps! Broccoli contains a compound called kaempferol. Kaempferol is a special compound that can help support kids’ healthy brain function and growth. Broccoli also contains calcium. Calcium plays an important role in children’s bone and tooth health by helping keep them strong! Cauliflower is a good source of fibre to support your child’s digestive health and is packed with B vitamins, including B6 and folate, as well as
Roast Butternut Squash Pasta
250g pasta of choice
1 butternut squash cut in half and seeds scooped out
1 tsp thyme
Garlic head (top chopped off and covered in foil for roasting) 125g of Ricotta cheese
30g grated parmesan
60g grated cheddar
2 tbsp of fresh rosemary
1 tbsp of fresh sage
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
2. On a baking tray, put the butternut squash with some olive oil, butternut squash, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon rosemary if using, and a pinch of salt, and pepper. Wrap the garlic head in tinfoil and add to the tray. Roast for 30 mins or until soft.
3. Add the butternut squash, garlic, and ricotta to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season (no more than 1g salt daily for children under the age of 1 is recommended) with salt and pepper
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
5. In a large pan melt together the a tbsp of butter, sage if using and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Cook until the butter is browning, then add the butternut puree and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, stirring until combined. The pasta water will help loosen the sauce as well as aid in it sticking to the pasta.
Making butternut squash into pasta sauce is really easy and kids seem to love it! Using the fresh herbs rosemary and sage really work well here but the crispy sage especially may be too strong tasting for children best to leave to the side for them to try. Butternut squash is actually a fruit! VitaminsA, B, C and E which are found in this fruit make it one of the healthiest purees for infants. Aside from that, minerals such as potassium and magnesium provide even more nourishment.
6. Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine and divide the pasta between plates.