A Guest Post by Jennifer Landis of MinfulnessMama.com
Somewhere around the 50th, “Mom, I’m bored” you started to wonder if you would have to pay your stylist for a color job as well as a trim when this pandemic ends (it will). You love your little angels, but spending this much time together might have you going just a bit gray.
You must remember that, while your children may not look at the COVID-19 quarantine the way you do, they nevertheless have anxiety — and this can influence their behavior. Why not ease the stress on both of you this weekend by getting in the kitchen and whipping up some delicious baked treats together? The following 10 recipes are kid-tested for friendliness, and when you finish, you have some sticky goodness to share with the rest of the family.
Spring has finally sprung, and it’s time for pastel colors everywhere — including your dessert plate. Pistachios contain a healthy blend of several necessary nutrients, including protein, but your kids won’t know they’re eating healthy with this dish. The finished product looks like a fattening treat you’d find in an upscale bakery. Go even further by cutting these into squares, petit four-style, and adding an icing flower or swirl design to the top of each one.
Pecans are another excellent plant-based protein source, and no one will balk at eating them in pie form. You can make this recipe gluten-free by choosing that variety of crust, in case you have people with intolerance in your family. These nuts are high in the mineral magnesium, which is crucial for combatting depression and maintaining positive mental health. Give your brain a boost in a tasty way.
3. Owl Cupcakes
Is your favorite little baker anxiously awaiting their letter from Hogwarts? While you may not be able to request that messenger to arrive, you can create the next best thing with these adorable owl cupcakes. All you need are some Oreos and M&Ms to create the googly eyes. The rest you can do with store-bought batter and frosting, making this a treat that is a snap to clean up after the job completes.
Bananas are high in potassium, a mineral that helps to keep your blood pressure in check. Who couldn’t use a little help in that area right now? Plus, this recipe allows you to use up your fruit before it turns completely brown and begins drawing fruit flies to your kitchen. If you want to increase the nutritional value of this or any other recipe on this list, try substituting garbanzo bean or almond flour for the refined white version.
Something about a giant cookie screams, “Indulge me!” Similar dishes make a cameo at many birthday parties for a good reason. This recipe combines delectable bits of chocolate with rainbow-colored sprinkles for a double sugar whammy. The trickiest part of preparing this dish is transferring it onto a rack to cool — but if your cookie crumbles, don’t worry. It will prove every bit as tasty.
How do you get your cake super-moist? You poke holes in it with the tines of a fork or the end of a spoon, and you insert Jell-O, that’s how. The effect is a brightly colored rainbow cake that melts in your mouth. You can use a layer of plain or vanilla-flavored Cool Whip on top for a no-mess frosting and add fresh fruit slices to the top for garnish and color.
Even though you are spending more time at home these days, you still need a quick and nutritious snack now and then. Help to prepare one for the entire family with these cranberry and orange healthy bites. They don’t have to look like anything, so you don’t have to worry about any Instagram fails when you show them off on social media. Using applesauce instead of butter helps to keep the calorie count lower.
To maximize your intake of phytonutrients — the substances that give plants their hues and benefit your health — nutritionists suggest “eating the rainbow.” They weren’t referring to a famous candy, but rather fruits and veggies in a variety of colors. However, if your kiddos turn up their wee noses at red peppers and purple cabbage, get them their beta carotene and anthocyanins the stealth way — in a dessert. They’ll never know they’re getting their vitamins when they enjoy this treat.
Do your little ones do a better job of eating dinner if they help to prepare it? Give them the role of sous chef permanently with this basic recipe. It only contains seven ingredients, and the only part that requires careful adult supervision is supervising the oven. You can top these with butter or make sausage gravy to coat them in a variation on the breakfast-for-dinner theme. Plus, you can make them ahead on the weekend to enjoy with evening meals for the rest of the week.
Who doesn’t love Nutella? If you and your kids both go gaga over this nutty spread, you’ll flip for this delicious cake that you can make with only two ingredients. If you have eggs and a jar of the chocolate-hazelnut cream and 30 minutes, you have an easy-yet-elegant dessert to serve after dinner.
Relieve Stress by Baking With Your Kids This Weekend
If you are starting to feel the pressure of life under the shutdown, you are far from alone. Chances are, your kiddos could use some stress relief, too, so get them in the kitchen with the recipes above and make some memories.