Healthy Valentine’s Day Gift – Cooking With Kids
One of my favorite things to feed my family is my homemade granola. We eat it as cereal, by itself as a quick snack, or sprinkled over yogurt. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s one of those recipes that isn’t really a recipe. You just kind of throw in whatever you have on hand, which makes it the perfect thing to whip up with little ones! And, the OT in me LOVES it for all of the great fine motor work kids can get as they pick up and sprinkle in all of the little ingredients! This year, we made up a few batches and packaged them as heart healthy Valentine’s Day gifts for family and friends!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Oats, cooking spray, chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, quinoa (uncooked), dried cranberries, raisins, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, any other nuts or dried fruit you like!
WHAT TO DO: Spray a baking sheet generously with cooking spray. Then, have kids sprinkle in about 1 ½ cups of oats and ½ cup of quinoa. Put about ¼ cup of each of the nuts and dried fruit in small bowls or containers and let kids use those Super Fingers to pick up and sprinkle them in! Finally, kids can sprinkle on some brown sugar, squeeze a big drizzle of honey over top of all of the ingredients, and shake on some cinnamon and nutmeg. Give the whole mixture a quick stir with a spatula and bake at 350* for 3 minute intervals, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan between each baking time. You definitely don’t want to walk away and leave this to bake for very long – it will burn easily! Continue baking for 3 minutes at a time until the mixture turns golden brown and smells toasty. We poured our granola into glass jars, adding cute tags and bows to each!
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Kids can practice cutting and early writing skills by making up their own gift tags.
-Save your leftover oats to make up a sensory bin – or use it for Finding Summer Through the Snow!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, grasp, sensory integration, in hand manipulation
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.