5 Recipes for Preschoolers and Homeschoolers

Dec 16, 2020

Connecting with food is a powerful part of being alive.

Food brings us together, offers opportunities to express culture and community, allows us to tune in with our bodies, and connects us all to the earth. When children have the opportunity to connect with their food – whether by planting seeds, harvesting crops, cooking, or eating – they have the opportunity to ground through smell, taste, feel, and sound. To inspire this connection with food, we have collected five simple recipes for children and their teachers or parents/guardians.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients: 

1 pumpkin

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon paprika, optional

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut the top off of the pumpkin and remove the seeds using a spoon. Wash away pulp and allow the seeds to air dry or thoroughly dry with a towel.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ¾ cup of the pumpkin seeds with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, paprika (optional), and black pepper.
  4. Lightly grease a sheet pan with olive oil. Evenly spread the pumpkin seeds on the sheet pan and place in the oven.
  5. Bake about 12 to 15 minutes, until the seeds are toasted. Stir every 5 minutes and sample one seed at a time to test for crunchiness. 
  6. Remove the roasted pumpkin seeds from the oven and place in a bowl to cool down.
  7. Enjoy!

Health Benefits:

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of fiber, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and iron. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 oz. (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds provides 126 calories, 5.3 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of mainly unsaturated fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of fiber.

 

Kale Chips

Ingredients: 

1 head kale, washed and dried

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt 

Other seasonings as desired (examples: nutritional yeast, garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, smoked paprika, etc.)

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit. 
  2. Remove ribs from kale and cut leaves into 1 ½-inch pieces. 
  3. In a bowl, toss leaves with olive oil and salt.
  4. Place leaves on a baking sheet generously spread apart to avoid uneven cooking. 
  5. Bake leaves until crisp (turning leaves halfway through) about 20 minutes. 
  6. Remove kale chips from oven and allow to cool.
  7. Enjoy!

Health Benefits:

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams) contains 206% Daily Value (DV) of Vitamin A, 684% DV of Vitamin K, and 134% DV of Vitamin C. This serving totals 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein with minimal fat. Kale also contains powerful antioxidants!

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

Ingredients: 

For the dough:

2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast

1 ⅓ cup warm water

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

For cooking the pretzels: 

6 cups water

½ cup baking soda

For garnishing the pretzels:

1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Kosher salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preparing the Dough
    1. In a stand mixer, add yeast, ⅓ cup of water, and ½ teaspoon of granulated sugar. Let sit and froth for about 5 minutes. 
    2. Add remaining water, flours, and brown sugar. Place the dough hook attachment on the mixer and mix on the lowest speed until combined, about 1-2 minutes. 
    3. Add salt and increase speed by a level or two for one minute.
    4. Dust hands and a clean surface with flour. Knead dough for 10-15 minutes, adding flour as necessary, but avoiding making the dough too dry. 
    5. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl coated with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm space to rise about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Prepare and Cook the Pretzels
    1. Move one oven rack to the middle and another to the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. 
    2. Coat two large baking sheets with parchment paper, oil, or cooking spray.
    3. Place the water and baking soda in a large pot and set over high heat. Bring to a boil.
    4. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 10 equally sized pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, then shape into a pretzel.
    5. Once the water is boiling, drop pretzels in one at a time and boil for about 15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spatula and place on a baking sheet.
    6. Once all the pretzels have been boiled, place them in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through cooking time.
    7. Remove from oven, brush tops with melted butter, and sprinkle with kosher salt.
    8. Enjoy!

Health Benefits:

Kneading dough allows for sensory stimulation and movement. Kneading and folding the dough can be a calming, meditative activity for children and adults as they prepare breads, pretzels, and pizza dough! 

 

Nutritional Popcorn

Ingredients: 

⅓ cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil

½ popcorn kernels

Other seasonings as desired (examples: garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, parmesan, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. Add nutritional yeast, salt, and any other desired seasonings to a large food storage container and set aside.
  2. Head oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Place 3-4 kernels in the pan and cover with a lid. Once the kernels begin to pop, add in the rest of the kernels. 
  3. Continuously shake the kernels as they heat up and pop. This helps prevent the popcorn from burning and evenly coats it with oil. Once the popping slows down, with a few seconds between pops, transfer popcorn to the food storage container. Cover with a lid and give it a good shake! 
  4. Serve in a large bowl and enjoy! 

Health Benefits: 

Nutritional yeast tastes cheesy and savory, but is both vegan and gluten-free! It’s a rich source of vitamins and is high in protein and fiber. Popcorn alone is also rich with fiber!

 

Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes

Ingredients: 

2 large eggs

1 large banana

¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg (optional)

1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional) 

Maple or agave syrup (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Blend eggs, banana, and optional spices and/or vanilla in a blender until smooth.
  2. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Coat with coconut oil. 
  3. Drop silver-dollar portions of the batter onto the skillet. In 1-2 minutes, when the pancakes begin to develop bubbles, flip. Cook until golden brown on both sides. 
  4. Serve with warmed syrup if desired and enjoy! 

Health Benefits: 

Bananas are a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. They can also aid in digestion or smooth an upset stomach. By adding the eggs, these pancakes offer more protein than the traditional pancake mix, which will help keep kids fuller longer!

 

We encourage both preschool and homeschool students to experiment with these simple and tasty recipes!