While we tend to lean on processed and packaged snacks out of ease and convenience, healthy snacking and baking need not be difficult. Plus, there’s no better family bonding time than cooking with the kids. Inviting kids into the kitchen can serve as a reminder that baking should be fun, and it helps us to not take the whole process too seriously. It’s going to get deliciously messy!
Introducing the kitchen as a space for children or grandchildren can have a host of benefits for the entire family. Creating healthy and straightforward dishes with kids doesn’t need to be a over complicated and we don’t have to produce MasterChef renditions of a fairy-tale castles and unicorns.
Encouraging kids in the kitchen can help educate them about the process of cooking. It can also serve to heighten their appreciation of food, encouraging them to create good habits, such as cooking healthy meals, long-term.
For younger children, learning how to read recipes and perform them can increase language development and reading skills, as well as fine motor skills. If more children learnt how to cook at a younger age, it would definitely inspire a generation who are adept with excellent life skills, to pass on to their own families int the future.
Encouraging baking for kids isn’t only a fun activity, but it can also be extremely gratifying. Healthier food can improve concentration by balancing blood sugar levels and enhancing moods. Creating home-made snacks is a significant first step when cooking with kids. For my first magic trick snack recipe, let’s start with a beloved traditional snack: muesli bars, specifically, these wonderfully delicious apricot and apple cinnamon muesli bars.
I’ve started this one, because, I mean, who doesn’t love apricots? They’re full of nutrients, high in antioxidants, promote eye health, are great for gut health and can even naturally boost skin health. When it comes to dried apricots, Murray River Organics dried apricots are the best in the world! I pop these guys daily. Packed full of flavour and goodness, apricots are a simple and elegant treat.
I choose Murray River Organics dried apricots as they use sustainable and organic farming practices and only recyclable packaging. You may notice that sulphur-free apricots are a darker brown colour, as opposed to their bright orange counterparts. The colour is not something to concern yourself about; in fact, it’s something to celebrate! Murray River Organics dried apricots are sulphur-free. Sulphur dioxides and sulphites are naturally occurring chemical compounds that preserve foods, such as meat, wine and of course, dried fruit. While sulphur is safe for most people, it can cause digestive issues and sensitivities in others. Organic and naturally dried fruits have a more potent and delicious taste. Sadly, they won’t last forever in your pantry, because you’re going to eat them all; this is my warning.
I’m combining my favourite dried apricots with the Murray River Organic Apple Cinnamon Muesli. I hide this from the kids, or I’d never get any (this secret is between you and me!) - this one’s high in fibre, natural ingredients, dairy-free and vegan friendly. When I look for muesli, I look for simple ingredients that I know how to pronounce, with whole foods and minimal additives. It’s muesli how it should be, and this muesli ticks all the boxes… just don’t eat the entire carton at once!
The apple and cinnamon perfectly round out the muesli bar with subtle flavour tones and tummy-filling substance.
This three-ingredient muesli bar is a masterpiece that can be ready in minutes! They’re perfect for a breakfast on the run, to have at work for morning tea, or as an afternoon snack for the kids.
Apricot and Apple Cinnamon Muesli Bars
A three-ingredient masterpiece that’s ready in minutes!
- 1 cup 100% organic, sulphite free Murray River Organics Apricots
- 1 x 400gm jar of Murray River Organics apple & cinnamon muesli
- ½ cup rice malt syrup or raw honey
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin with baking paper.
Process the apricots in a food processor until sticky.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
Push the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for
15 minutes, or until slightly crisp (see tip).
Cool, then cut into eight bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Instead of baking the mixture, you can leave it raw, push it into a square dish and allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Cut into eight bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.