Welll, ever since we made our beautiful Fall decorations with our Pumpkin Spice Salt Dough - our house has been smelling delicious...and our tummies have been rumbling!
One of our traditional fall muffins is a Pumpkin Spice Muffin and S (who is a picky eater) just cannot eat enough of them. We figured it was about time to start whipping them up again - and this year X could "help" us make them as well. Around 18 months (give or take a few months depending on the child) is a great time to get them involved in baking. X is really still too young to do much other than watch (we have big hopes for his interest in baking to grow in the next several months!). So he got his own set of measuring cups and other utensils to play with while he watched sister and me work. :)
Though this is a blurry picture, I had to include it. He kept periodically kissing sister's back while she worked. Ahhhh, I melt!
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If you don't already bake with your kiddos, but would like to start, a Learning Tower (which the kids are standing in here) is our absolute favorite piece of kid-kitchen equipment. We got ours 2 and a half years ago and we use it every day. Literally. S stands in it to watch us cook, help us prep, to reach the kitchen sink to wash her hands or help wash produce. This thing is AMAZING. It has an adjustable floor so it can grow with your child. I love love love our Learning Tower. Anyway, back to more thoughts on cooking with kiddos. S still struggles to measure dry things (like flour, etc) without making a huge mess and/or measuring inaccurately, so I usually measure for her, but hand it to her to dump/mix/etc.
She's also in charge of helping me count out how many cups or tablespoons of whatever we need. Something like pumpkin is easier, so she was able to measure that out herself.
She is very good at doing about half of the workload when it comes to mixing.
Greasing/buttering pans and/or lining them with cupcake liners is something she's been doing since 18 months - these are great starter jobs for little ones. You can always come back and do one more quick run through everything once they're done.
Here's my little goof showing off the muffins before they go in the oven!
We like things that are really low sugar - so let me preface this with a warning that these are not sweet. My kids and I love them, but if your family is used to sweeter muffins, you may want to double the sugar in the recipe.
Here's the recipe we made up and love. For some weird reason, we find it makes 11 muffins. Quirky.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup Pumpkin
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp low fat milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
Measure and combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl. Measure and combine all your wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined (we do this by hand, but you could use a KitchenAid mixer if you like). Spoon muffin mix into greased or lined muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy with your favorite babies. :)
If you are cooking with toddlers, check out Twodaloo's post on Building Language in the Kitchen for some great ideas to incorporate language learning into baking fun!
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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children. As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family. I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.