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Three Favourite Snacks - the Kids can make themselves

Vegetable chip sliced at How we Montessori

We've just finished three weeks of spring break. Caspar and Otis have spent almost all day, every day, outside on their bikes, or on the neighbor's trampoline. They always come home hungry. While I often have snacks ready for them, sometimes I am busy with the baby. Sometimes I want them to get their own snacks - you know, life skills and all that.

Today I am sharing three snacks that are really popular in our home. Caspar and Otis can make all of these themselves, without any adult help. It's usually Otis doing the baking but Caspar can help when needed. Not all kids like cooking and that's completely ok.

Vegetable chip sliced at How we Montessori

During the school term, the boys have lunch provided at school. It's always a cooked lunch with vegetables and dessert. So during the break, I've been working extra hard to make sure they still have lots of vegetables. I always aim for two fruit serves and five vegetable serves a day. We usually fail miserably, but I'm trying. Vegetable chips are a tasty way to get lots of vegetables in.

Vegetable Chips 

Ingredients:

We like to try all sorts of root vegetables, think potato, sweet potato, carrots, beetroot, parsnip but we also like zucchini. Olive oil. Salt - we use a vegetable salt. 

Method:

  1. Slice vegetables, you can slice them thinly or if working with a toddler try in wedges or fingers, this is nice work to do with a crinkle cutter. 
  2. Toss in olive oil.
  3. Place on a baking tray. Bake in oven until crispy. The temperature and time will vary, we usually use around 180°c and watch until the chips turn brown in approximately 20 minutes. 
  4. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with salt. 
  5. Allow to cool and serve. 

Because the vegetables are all different shapes they will all cook differently. You could try all one vegetable like sweet potato chips but we enjoy the variety!

Vegetable chips at HWM
Otis making cheese and ham tart at HWM

Cheesey tarts are extremely popular here as both of my boys love cheese and it's nice to have a warm snack on these cool days. These are quick to make and if you add a green salad they are perfect for lunch! 

Easy Cheesey Tarts

Ingredients:

Handmade or store-bought puff pastry, we use frozen pastry that is available here already cut into small squares. Grated cheese - use the cheese that your kids love, we've been using a combination of mozzarella, pecorino and, Parmigiano Reggiano. We've found an amazing pecorino cheese here which does not compare to the pecorino we had in Australia. The cheese matters! Nutmeg, have the kids grind it fresh. Cream. Thyme. We also add ham, but of course, this is an optional extra.

Method:

  1. If using frozen pastry, allow the pastry sheets to defrost. 
  2. Fold over and press down 1cm or so of the edge of the pastry square to make a border. Keep all of the ingredients inside the border. 
  3. Add thinly sliced ham to the pastry square. 
  4. Sprinkle the pastry square with cheese, nutmeg and, thyme.
  5. Pour a spoon of cream in the pastry square, it should stay within the border. 
  6. Not necessary but you can add egg wash to the border, this will help it brown up nicely. 
  7. Bake in oven at 180°c for around 15 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up and is brown.
  8. Allow to cool and serve. 

There are so many ingredients that would work here, we also love to add thinly sliced mushrooms. As an alternative, we sometimes use berry compote!

Cheese and Ham tarts at HWM  berry compote
Otis making banana muffins at HWM

These are a long-term favorite. We go through a lot of bananas and we often have ripe bananas perfect for banana bread or banana muffins. This recipe makes 24 mini muffins which are good for children on the go, the children can grab a handful as they run out the door or share them with friends.  

Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

2 medium-size ripe bananas. Half a cup of yogurt, we use a natural greek yogurt. 1 cup of self-raising flour. Half a cup of sugar. Dash of cinnamon, have the kids grate it fresh! One egg. 

Method: 

  1. Peel and mash bananas in a large bowl. Mashing is fantastic for toddlers, use a fork or small masher. 
  2. Add and stir in egg, yogurt, flour, sugar and, cinnamon. It will be lighter if you can sift the flour first. 
  3. Mix well. 
  4. Spoon into patty pans or into a muffin tray. 
  5. Bake in oven at 180°c for around 20-25 minutes depending if you've used mini or large muffin pans. Remove from oven once golden or check with a skewer to see if they are fully cooked. 
  6. Allow to cool and serve. Makes exactly 24 mini muffins!

Banana mini muffins at HWM

My children don't measure things exactly and all of these are very forgiving recipes. The boys mostly use the toaster oven to cook and while they no longer need direct supervision, I'm always nearby to help if needed. I hope you've had a good spring break!! 

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