Pre pregnancy days, hubby and I often had kids over that we babysit. I would measure out ingredients and we would bake cookies. The kids would have a ball, and would often wait by the oven, asking if the cookies are ready yet. Then they would have a few cookies, packed some for their parents and excitedly tell them that they made it.
I never thought that my cooking journey with Asher will begin before he turns two. Maybe closer to 3 was my original assumption. One fine afternoon, I realised that his eyes were watching me as I move in the kitchen. Then hubby commented that Asher seems to be interested to what happens at the kitchen and it must be interesting to him that some ingredients come together and it appears as food to him.
So we decided to get him involved. I was making pesto one evening and he helped me tear the basil leaves, putting it into the food processor.
Gradually we moved on. I placed some bananas, eggs, and a few other ingredients around him together with a big mixing bowl. Oh how excited he was. He helped me mashed some bananas, whisk the wet ingredients together and fold them into dry ones. Yes he needed help along the way but he was fascinated by the process. He spooned the mixture into the muffin cups and watched eagerly while the cakes cooked in the oven.
As a psychologist, I work with the most under privilege families. Often with kids that have close to nothing. Some times they struggle, other times I see their resilience coming through. I know that we should never under estimate them. Back in my own kitchen, I realised I have underestimated my own son. A simple act of cooking and baking involves many chains of behaviour. Here is he, practicing his fine motor skills, learning how to stir and spoon. Hand eye coordination is required as he spoon into small cups. A sensory experienced as he realised that this mushy wet mixture that he tasted turned into fluffy cakes. Not to mention listening and processing skills as he listened to my verbal instructions and translate that into actions.
This little activity reminded me how little we know about child development. We know a lot in science but there are things that are hard to explain with science. Trusting your instincts and experimenting can be one of the best ways to learn how our children operate and what they can/or not.
I have made these little muffins with apple and they turned out great. The only fruit that I felt was a little dry was pear-funny enough. Nevertheless, I think this recipe is a keeper as it is a nut free one. Very handy for his future school years I’m sure.
- 3-4 very ripe bananas mashed
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1/4 lemon juiced
- Optional- 1 tbsp honey or rice malt
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp baking soda
- optional- coconut flakes
- Preheat Oven to 180C. Prepare muffin cups
- Whisk bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and juice together. Pour and mix into dry ingredients. Sprinkle coconut flakes on it. Bake for 35-40 mins.