cooking with kids

Cooking with Kids – Bubble Cake aka Puddle Cake

Playing, having fun, and learning can all happen at the same time. 1 2 3. This bubble cake combines more than ingredients. It’s easy for cooking with kids. There’s hardly anything to wash up since you mix it and cook it in the same pan. Sometimes, this Bubble Cake is known by another name, Puddle Cake, but it does make some fizzy bubbles when mixing.

chocolate puddle or bubble cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F. First, lightly grease a square cake pan. (My cake pan is almost an antique, and smaller than 8” by 8”.) Kids can use their fingers to spread some butter or oil on the bottom and sides. Measure the following ingredients directly into the pan and mix them together with a fork:

1 cup of flour
2/3 cup of sugar
5 Tablespoons of cocoa
1/3 teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

chocolate puddle or bubble cake Next, with a spoon make 3 small depressions or holes for the puddles. Pour each of these into one of the small holes:

4 Tablespoons of oil
2/3 teaspoon of vanilla
2 teaspoons of vinegar

chocolate puddle or bubble cake

The vinegar fizzles slightly as it meets the baking soda. Drizzle 2/3 cup of water over all of this and stir until smooth. Put this in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the top springs back when tapped and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Time can vary a bit depending on altitude and ovens.

When cooking with kids, they learn how to follow instructions, use numbers, and practice measuring. Just like other recipes, doing the steps in a particular order is very important. There’s lots of language being mixed in too. Children take pride in their efforts. Not only do they enjoy a sense of satisfaction but they also feel included. Making the bubble cake requires teamwork and kids are part of the team. Science is certainly involved. What happens when the vinegar is added? There is a reaction. Did it happen when other things were added? The heat of the oven creates another kind of change.

chocolate puddle or bubble cake

Cool the cake after cooking before eating. We served it with blueberries and cream. Are there any bubbles in the cake now? Did you know you could eat bubbles?

Cooking with Kids: Kids Cinco de Mayo Agua Fresca

Every home in the world has a kitchen space and every culture has unique foods. How about some kids Cinco de Mayo agua fresca for today’s learn and play? Cinco de Mayo is of course a special day of celebration for Mexican families and Mexican culture.

fruit juice for kidsAgua fresca can be translated as fresh water, but that’s not exactly what it means. A more accurate description would be refreshing water that’s flavored with fruit. There’s a bit of tang from lime and a bit of sweet from honey, agave, syrup, or sugar. Ice makes it a cool drink for hot days, and there are lots of those in Mexico. The Mexican climate also grows marvelous fruits.

Strawberries are often a favorite fruit of kids. Have your child help by washing strawberries. Little hands may be able to use a plastic picnic knife to take the leaves off the top. To make one serving, blend about ½ cup of strawberries in one cup of water. Add a squirt of lime and a bit of sweetener. Yummy! Mango makes a great agua fresca too. So do melons, watermelons, and pineapple. Proportions can be adjusted, depending on what’s available in the stores and what there is in your fridge.

Instead of plain water, try some coconut water to make kids Cinco de Mayo agua fresca. Coconuts are found in many places in Mexico. Other variations may include herbs and seeds.cinco-de-mayo-kidworldcitizen

This is from the website kidworldcitizen written by a mom who believes kids need to be “globally and culturally aware.” She adds a few spoons of chia seeds to Chia Lemonade along with limes, sugar, and water. Chia seeds add extra nutrition. Check her site for the recipe and for other multi-cultural resources for kids from different places around the world.

Cooking with kids includes learning on so many levels. For a start, there’s following a recipe and doing steps in order. Measuring and counting are math skills. There’s science too as foods are changed both physically and chemically. Kids practice observing and predicting, especially when we ask what’s happening. Language is certainly an ingredient. Children develop both life-long skills as well as life-long attitudes to food and nutrition. On a social level, they are included as part of the group and emotionally, they feel a sense of satisfaction and pride. Globally, they share in celebration and increase their understanding of others.

Will your family celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Kids Play with Anything #19: Child’s Play with Food

Kids have an amazing ability to turn anything into a toy and play with it. That includes child’s play with food. Here are some okay ways to go bananas. While we wish kids would eat food instead of play with it, there are some activities where playing with food is quite acceptable.

play with foodThe well-known children’s singer, Raffi, has a silly song called Banana Phone. We were in the audience for one of his concerts where he used a real banana and pretended to have a conversation. Funny and silly, Raffi sings that the phone has appeal (a peel) and it’s not a phony baloney. For adults, he picked up a bunch of bananas and called it “a conference call.” As you can predict, when we got home, Big Sister picked up a banana and pretended it was a phone. Now, much of the time, bananas are called ring-rings, from the line in the song “Ring, ring, ring, ring, banana phone. Her favorite sandwich is peanut butter and ring-rings.

play with foodThis sort of silliness has an unexpected purpose. Using one object to be another is called symbolic play. Symbolic thinking is a skill used for language—words are sound symbols. Reading is another way we use symbols, this time squiggles and lines mean real things. Much of pretend play is symbolic.

play with foodHow about some science fun with food? An easy and simple science experiment is to check if fruit and vegetables will float. Run some warm water in a sink or large bowl. Line up some items like an apple, banana, grape, carrot, pepper, potato and others. The first step is to guess or predict what will happen. Once kids have said either float or sink, they can try one and see what happens. While adults start the play, kids soon make it their own. They will try things like turning the apple upside down or putting the grape on the apple. They might suggest other items to try or turn the banana into a boat for small plastic people.

play with foodAdults have definite ideas about what is work and what is play but to kids anything they want to do is play. Helping us cook is a special way to play to food. Kids can slice bananas and grapes for fruit salad. They can measure, add ingredients, and stir when baking. We went to a pizza restaurant where balls of dough are handed out to kids along with the menus.

play with foodFor a play-of-the-day, is there a way you and your child can go bananas and play with food?

Star Wars Tortilla Planets – Breakfast Or Dessert

There are dozens and dozens of ideas for Star Wars foods, but this is one of the tastiest, Star Wars Tortilla Planets, so nutritious they can be breakfast and so good they can be dessert. Thanks to Heather Tallman, at Basilmomma for these. Don’t they look delicious? Place two tortillas on a cookie sheet, (lined … Continue reading Star Wars Tortilla Planets – Breakfast Or Dessert

Christmas Cooking with Kids

Tech support will delete your cookies and so will kids. For a play-of-the-day, tie on an apron for Christmas cooking with kids. At this time of year, many families are making holiday favorites. While some make cookies, others are kneading the dough for cinnamon buns, rolling out pyrogies, decorating Yule logs, wrapping up tamales, cutting … Continue reading Christmas Cooking with Kids

October Alphabet: K is for Kitchen Fun with Kids

Not just October, but anytime of the year is great for some kitchen fun with kids. And learning too. We can easily cook up both. Involving kids in the kitchen has  some immediate as well as long-term benefits. Sometimes, as a child, it seems like adults get to have all the fun. We might think … Continue reading October Alphabet: K is for Kitchen Fun with Kids

Cooking with Kids: Fruit Roll-ups #2

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the summer with some easy fruit roll-ups for cooking with kids that makes a fun, colorful treat anytime, especially July 4th. These can be part of the main course or dessert. Last year’s treat, watermelon pizza was super to make and eat. It tasted like summer and looked so colorful, although … Continue reading Cooking with Kids: Fruit Roll-ups #2