For the past 7 years I have been teaching a preschool cooking class to groups of 3 & 4 year olds. Cooking provides kids a variety of chances to learn all kinds of skills. We use math when counting and measuring ingredients. We use a variety of social skills, trust me when 20 3 year olds are waiting for cookies to bake they really have to work on their ability to be patient! They even use large motor skills when stirring! My total passion with this cooking class is teaching these kids about healthy foods. All of my students know that if I say we are making cookies there will for sure be some sort of "secret ingredient" that's going to turn that treat healthy!
I'm pretty sure 7 years of teaching preschoolers about nutritious eating makes me an expert on getting your little ones to at least try some of those healthy meals. What I think is so amazing about cooking class with these kids is that I don't really need to hide the fact that we are making something healthy. We talk about superfoods, macronutrients, whole grains, protein etc. They are learning the power behind making healthy eating choices. They are learning that their bodies need healthy food so that they have those big superhero muscles, strong bones to grow and most importantly all the energy they need to play and learn all day long!!
Letting kids know the power behind their eating choices at an early age can hopefully lead them into an adulthood of healthy living! Of course, the kids were super excited about making cookies. We talked about how cookies are normally a treat and that treats are ok sometimes but our body likes is to eat healthy foods more often because they give us all the things we to be strong and full of energy. But the "cool" thing about these cookies were that they were healthy at the same time! More a snack than a treat. AWESOME. We, also, talked about one of my favorite superfoods, quinoa! We talked about how it was filled with protein to help our muscles grow strong.
These cookies have very little sugar and turned out very dense, almost like a scone. They would make a great snack or even breakfast! Hope you get a chance to make them at home. They were so easy and a perfect thing to try making with your own preschooler as a helper. Kids love to help on the kitchen. The sense of pride of creating their own dish is another way to get them to take an interest in healthier foods. You'll love seeing your little one scarf down a cookie made with quinoa and they will love eating a cookie that they got to help make!
Chocolate Chip Quinoa Cookies
3/4 c quinoa
2 c whole wheat flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 c honey
1 c unsweetened vanilla soy milk
1/2 c olive oil
Dark chocolate chips
Mix together dry ingredients. Then add wet. Lastly mix in chocolate chips. These cookies get big and this should make a dozen big cookies! Scoop into balls on baking pan and bake at 350. They should be done in about 10-15 min.