Last week David and I had the opportunity to take a cooking class together at PCC, a natural co-op chain in the Seattle area. I had looked at the cooking classes offered at our local community center but they all used quite a bit of animal products and I felt like it would be really hard to modify everything without making a big fuss. So when I found a class called Snack Time Fun for 2’s and 3’s that was vegetarian with vegan options I booked it right away. We had such a good time, and I’m really enjoying seeing David develop an interest in cooking.
I do want to be careful not to make cooking and food too big of a focus around here—let’s face it, the life of a food blogger is fairly food-centric—but I’d also like David to grow up feeling competent in the kitchen, and to know how to choose healthy foods. I think getting him involved in a hands on way will help him to develop a healthy attitude towards foods, and also to learn that we can make so many great treats ourselves rather than relying on processed foods.
The class was geared for 2’s and 3’s. David is on the young side of that window, so he was a little antsy (the class was an hour and 15 minutes), but he did a pretty good job. He had a little trouble being patient—he just wanted to eat all of the ingredients, and even swiped a strawberry out of one of the prep baskets. Our instructor taught us 3 different snacks—crackers, parfaits, and trail mix. And I know you’re thinking parfaits and trail mix aren’t really recipes, but after making them with David I realized it was just right for what he could handle! Make sure to go all the way to the bottom of this post to find the cracker recipe—these crackers remind me of the fancy ones that I get at Whole Foods in the bakery section—yum!
Listening intently to the instructions—this was the very beginning of the class!
We made parfaits with yogurt, fruit and granola. They had a variety of types of yogurts to choose from, including dairy-free coconut which was our choice. While the parfait is such a simple concept, David had so much fun assembling it. It would be a great way to help your kids to try new things. I think it would also be a fun thing to do at a birthday party—make your own yogurt sundaes instead of cake and ice cream!
David got to cut his own strawberries and bananas. I was a little hesitant to let him try the knife, but since it was a butter knife it was safe. He was so excited—you could tell that he felt proud and grown up to get to use the knife.
The last item we made was trail mix. While it wasn’t really a recipe, the kids all seemed to enjoy putting their bags together. Each table got a tray with little ramekins, each filled with something different—chocolate chips, pretzels, crackers, raisins, bananas, pineapples, etc. The kids got to choose how much of each item they wanted to include, and skip the ones they didn’t. David loved his mix, and was happy to bring it home to share with Daddy too.
Seeded Crackers, recipe by Lisa Palmatier, adapted from Yoga Journal Magazine
2/3 c white flour, plus more for rolling (I’m sure whole wheat would work too)
1/3 c spelt flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
2 T olive oil, plus a little for brushing
1/4 c water
1 t each poppy, fennel, and sesame seeds
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t coarse sea salt
any other sprinkles you like
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a food processor, blend flours, salt and baking powder. Add olive oil and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add water and mix until dough forms a ball.
In a small bowl mix together the seeds, paprika, and coarse sea salt. Alternately, set out individually in ramekins so that you child can choose which to sprinkle.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface (parchment paper makes for easy transferring) and roll to form a 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with toppings. Cut into 2 inch squares, or use a cookie cutter to cut shapes.
Bake for 10-15 minutes on a baking sheet until crackers are golden.