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Creating a Safe and Supportive Kitchen Environment for Children With Autism


Creating a comfortable and inviting kitchen environment for children with autism can seem like a challenging task for many parents and caregivers. However, with a thoughtful approach and proper guidance, your kitchen can transform into a safe and nurturing space where your child can thrive.

This blog post is dedicated to helping you create a kitchen that accommodates your child’s unique needs and helps them acclimate to essential kitchen activities like eating, cleaning, and table preparation. Furthermore, it explores how Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy can support this transition.

Simplify and Organize

Autistic children thrive in environments that are predictable and orderly. Start by simplifying your kitchen space. Remove unnecessary items and distractions, and organize the remaining items in a systematic and visible way. Clearly label cabinets and drawers, and maintain consistency in where items are kept. This structured approach will help your child understand the function and location of each item.

Also, ABA therapy, the gold standard in autism care, can provide children and teens with valuable life skills which can enhance their experience in the kitchen and other areas of the home.

Create a Dedicated Eating Area

Children with autism can benefit significantly from having a dedicated eating area. This space should be simple and calming. Limit the use of loud colors or busy patterns that might overstimulate your child. Incorporate their favorite items, like a special placemat or cup, to make the space feel more familiar and comforting.

Establish Routines and Rituals

Establish clear routines around mealtime and kitchen activities. This could include a consistent sequence of events like washing hands, setting the table, eating, and cleaning up. Providing visual cues or schedules can also be helpful in reinforcing these routines.


Involvement in Meal Preparation

Encourage your child to participate in meal preparation. Simple tasks like washing vegetables or setting the table can give them a sense of achievement and make them feel more comfortable in the kitchen. Remember to offer positive reinforcement to motivate them further.

Teach Cleaning Skills

Teaching cleaning skills is essential. Start with simple tasks like wiping the table or throwing trash. Gradually introduce more complex tasks, such as washing dishes. Use step-by-step instructions, visual aids, or video modeling to help them understand the process.

Use Sensory-Friendly Utensils and Dishes

Some children with autism are sensitive to certain textures, colors, or sounds. To accommodate these sensory preferences, choose utensils, plates, and cups that your child is comfortable using. Silicone utensils, for example, are softer and gentler on the mouth compared to metal ones.

Incorporate ABA Therapy

ABA therapy is a scientifically validated approach that encourages positive behaviors and reduces harmful ones in children with autism.


In the kitchen setting, ABA therapy can be used to teach and reinforce essential skills such as following instructions, waiting patiently, and taking turns. A trained ABA therapist can also help you design a personalized plan to support your child’s kitchen acclimation process.


Creating a safe and supportive kitchen environment for your child with autism involves careful planning, patience, and a lot of love.

However, by simplifying and organizing the space, creating dedicated eating areas, establishing clear routines, involving your child in meal preparation, teaching cleaning skills, using sensory-friendly utensils, and incorporating ABA therapy, you can make the kitchen a comforting and inclusive space for your child. This not only encourages their independence but also nurtures their confidence.

Always remember every child is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. So, keep experimenting and discovering what suits your child the best. The journey might be challenging, but the rewards will be immeasurable.

How to Get Your Kid Interested in Cooking?


Cooking is an excellent way to improve your kid’s creativity while connecting more and spending quality time together. Not to mention that starting to cook from a young age will make children self-sufficient adults later who will know how to take care of themselves properly, because you surely are amazed by the large number of people who can’t prepare even some basic meals, and you don’t want that to happen also for your kid. Plus, kids involved in the cooking ritual from an early age will know how to appreciate food more, select healthy choices, and lower food waste. As you already see, the benefits are plenty, but what remains challenging is how to get your kids involved in the cooking process, as in most cases, they just want to eat and avoid any activity of this kind.

But don’t worry, because we created a list with some tips that will get your kids interested in cooking, so keep reading to find out more.

Let Them Try Experiments

Experimenting in the kitchen will make kids want to spend more time cooking, as you already know that when you set rules, children are not likely to follow them. But, when given freedom, they will find more joy in cooking and become curious to create something with their hands. So, giving your kids a chance to experiment and develop their suggestions is vital, even if their ideas sound bizarre. This way, they will see what goes well together and from what combinations to stay away in the future. Their motivation to succeed in a cooking recipe will also increase, as they always want to create a meal that all their family members will appreciate.


Also, don’t forget to let your kids choose the day’s menu. Because in most cases, parents make this decision; kids don’t get to say what they want to eat, so they will not be implicated in the cooking part. We know kids are extremely picky with their food, but no kid ever will resist the temptation of ice cream or pizza, and you can use them to your advantage. For example, you can set a time once a week when they can eat their favorite food, but to do so, they first need to prepare it, and they will surely agree, as their desired food is at stake, so it’s a win-win situation.

Create a Beautiful Kitchen

Having a beautiful kitchen will make kids want to spend more time in the cooking area, which will also get them tempted to try mixing ingredients together and doing something with their hands. It is important for kids to love the space and feel safe and protected, so you need to make your kitchen a colorful environment while also taking the right safety measures not to get them injured. In this regard, you can set up your children a small cabinet, created especially for kids, where they will play with tiny utensils and be master chefs in their mini kitchen. You can also buy them a personalized apron because, in this way, they are more likely to spend more time there to show off their unique outfit.

In today’s fast-paced world, teaching your kids valuable life skills, such as cooking, has become more important than ever. Not only does it help develop their independence and creativity, but it also promotes a healthier lifestyle. One effective way to get your kid interested in cooking is by incorporating the concept of growing your own herbs. This not only adds an exciting element to the cooking process but also teaches them about plant care and sustainability.

If your kid is grown enough to participate in the cooking chores, you need to give your kitchen a beautiful and interesting look to make them more engaged. If your kitchen doesn’t match their taste, consider remodeling, and the best option is to choose a shaker kitchen, as they will make a chic and clean look, which will be perfect for kids.

Take Your Kids Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping has many advantages because it allows your kids to see a variety of food they don’t have at home and get interested in trying something new. Additionally, children involved with shopping will pick what they want to eat and participate later in preparing the food. The grocery stores can be where your kid can learn vital skills like time management, improving communication, planning according to the needs, or completing tasks. Besides the learning part, grocery shopping will also be a fun experience because they get to change to explore a new environment, see lots of products that are new to them, and also encounter people on the way.

Watch Cooking Shows

Whether they are watching a Gordon Ramsay show or Masterchef Junior, your kid will have a great opportunity to learn something new related to cooking. Plus, when food is made in a fun way, they are more likely to want to try it at home. And a cooking show can be addictive also for parents, so your children will surely become a fan and say things like,” I want to try that!” or “Can we prepare this recipe?” When they see how participants cook and judges react to their food, their curiosity is aroused, and they will want to be in the contestant’s place.


In most cases, kids don’t help with the food preparations because they are afraid that something terrible will happen, but as they have the chance to watch television programs, they will see that the kitchen is safe, and they have no reasons to be afraid. As seen on TV, the cooking process will become magical and fun, and each kid will want to try a recipe at home. Not to mention that your kid can also find a new hobby in this way, and who knows, maybe their future career will be related to this.

Final Words

Cooking has lots of advantages for kids, as they will learn new ingredients, discover new information, and develop important life skills. Don’t forget to encourage your kids when they prepare something; even if they make mistakes, tell them that this is normal and that mistakes are part of the learning experience. By doing this, your kid can become the next winner of one of the cooking contests you watch together because everything is possible when they truly believe in something.

3 Simple Recipes to Create with your Child

It’s the summer, and you need to engage your kids at home? Especially when they are stuck at home with a looming pandemic. The best possible way is for you to cook with them, this would mean that you would get to spend some time with your child(ren) and help them escape their boredom. So let the cooking begin and the kitchen turners upside down. 

Three simple recipes that you can create with your child:

1. Let’s make something to drink to quench this summer heat. An Oatmeal Cookie smoothie is healthy and refreshing for the kids to try. All you need is 20 minutes, and you have yourself a milk+cookie smoothie. 

The ingredients for this smoothie are – 3/4 cup rolled oats, ¼ cup raisins, 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup whole milk (add more if you please), 1/2 cup full-fat vanilla yogurt, 1 tablespoon sugar (preferably brown as its a healthier option). 

Time to make this smoothie and devour it – Add oats, raisins, pumpkin spice into a blender, and slowly add the milk to make sure it covers the oats. Set aside for 15 minutes and make sure it’s soft. Now back to the blender for a minute and add yogurt, sugar, and ice keep blending and voila it’s ready to be poured. 

2. Apple Granola, a healthy snack is easy to make and good for your kids’ energy that they require to grow. The best part is this energetic snack requires a few ingredients, and once your child knows how to make it, they can make it for themselves whenever they are hungry as it takes only 5 minutes to prepare. 

All you need are apples, peanut butter, crushed granola bars, cinnamon, and sugar. 

Prepare the ingredients by laying them out on a table. Give the children apple slices so that they can coat it with a layer of peanut butter. Now dip the coated apple slice in a bowl of crushed granola. On the side mix cinnamon and sugar, sprinkle this mixture on your apple granola for extra flavor. Now it’s time to munch on this apple granola bar. 

3. Now, for the evening’s dessert, for all those sweet tooth cravings and something to complete your meal. Hence, presenting a simple microwave Chocolate marshmallow cake that one can make in a mug. You do not require an oven to make this, and a microwave will suffice.

Ingredients you need are ½ cup sugar, ½ buttermilk, ¼ vegetable oil, 1 egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅓ floor, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, ⅛ teaspoon baking soda and a pinch of salt.

It’s time to spend 15 minutes making this delicious goody. All you have to do is first mix the sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla extract in a bowl—next start whisking and add flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, and salt. The batter is ready, so take a microwavable mug coat with butter and pour the mixture into the mug. Keep it in the microwave for about two minutes, keep checking the cake, take a toothpick, and check if the cake has cooked. Lastly, take a marshmallow and put it on the cake and heat it. Voila, you have a beautiful dessert ready to be eaten. 

Final Thoughts 

While baking and cooking with your kid, be careful. Please do not leave the kid alone in the kitchen as they are not quite aware of how to use sharp objects yet. Therefore limit them to simple tasks and some of the ingredients of the recipe can be given to them, and they can mix and enjoy their masterpiece.

Points to remember when Buying a Stylish Stainless-Steel Kitchen Sink

Stylish Stainless

You may not realize, but purchasing a kitchen sink is an essential step as you use it many times every day. Today, you get different options in this category. But when it comes to affordability, stainless steel seems to be the most viable option.

These models have been in use for a long time and are still going strong for the simple reason that they offer optimum functionality and value while being cheaper to most other alternatives.

Due to this, they garner terrific demand too. However, the main challenge is how to identify between a good and poor-quality stainless-steel sink.

Your mind must be telling you to focus on the sink’s appearance. After all, you want this plumbing fixture not just to perform well but also to complement the whole aesthetic theme of the kitchen.

Don’t worry about the looks because a stylish stainless steel sink is easy to find. You can visit a trusted store to browse their collection from the comfort of your home.

However, while checking the shape and exteriors of the sink, make sure to learn about its engineering also. Pay heed to the thickness of the material, long-lastingness, and so on.  

A stylish choice does not necessarily have to be limited to the design. In this modern age, anything that combines the best of all the elements can claim to be one. So, when you go shopping for one, keep the following things in mind.

  • A high-end stainless-steel product can be slightly expensive
  • The stainless-steel gauge or thickness matters, and hence, a higher price for the same is not a surprise
  • Cheaper material can succumb to discoloration, corrosion, scratches, and dents sooner, while high-quality sinks can take care of all these along with providing noise control and durability

It means if you want your sink to be stylish in every sense, then you need to practice carefulness with what you select. Here are some pieces of information that can come in handy in this regard. Let’s go through them once.

Best grade stainless steel for home kitchens

Some people say 316-grade stainless steel can be cost-effective and durable. But if you are eyeing the highest value for money, then the 304 series is the best. It makes a common choice also. In the market, some companies offer 430 grade also. But you cannot expect it to be durable and flexible.

Plus, a dent can be another challenge with them. So, as you can feel, the safest and most preferable option remains to be 304. Scout for sinks that come with a satin finish to get rid of the issues of rust and corrosion, which commonly occur in metals made of iron.

If you are aware, steel products with iron content can succumb to rusting due to the oxidation process. But the addition of a satin finish can prevent this condition.

The thickness of the stainless steel

While going through product details, you may have come across something like “sink gauge.” Gauge refers to the depth of the material. As per usual standards, 16-gauge stainless steel is the best of all the options available in the market.

Some people buy 18 gauge also to cut down their buying costs. But you cannot trust it to perform the same way as the other one. Anything between 20 and above can be considered if its usage is pretty low. Options in 14-gauge stainless steel sinks can also feature in the stores.

You don’t have to look for them as they are most suitable for commercial purposes or settings, such as restaurants, community kitchens, etc. 

Gauge 14 indicates that the metal is exceptionally thick, while metal with gauge 20 and above shows its thinness. If your kitchen is the busiest place where you need to handle heavy, large pans and pots, then it is better to buy a 16-gauge sink. It can demonstrate high resistance to wear and tear even if something drops in it.

Another reason why 16-gauge stainless steel kitchens are best to go with is that they offer longevity and shine. However, for your bar area, you can select a sink with gauge 19 to 22 also.

Cleaning and maintenance of stainless steel

The high-grade stainless-steel sink can resist dents and scratches to a greater extent. However, it would take efforts from your end also to ensure that dishes don’t knock the surface frequently. The shiny surfaces are not wholly immune to scrapes. Hence, you have to be careful about how you use it and keep it clean. 

Usually, online stores provide care tips as well, where they recommend using mild cleaning solutions and a soft cloth. They also suggest regular rinsing and wiping the surface is necessary after you have done your chores.

As such, stainless steel kitchen sinks can be an essential choice. But no matter what décor your kitchen has, it can merge well with it and give a stylish twist while sitting in the corner of your cooking area. From a practical point of view, everyone is aware of its durability and strength that allows it to face most of the household tasks like a hero.

However, you can still be thinking about it in terms of looks and hygiene. As already hinted above, a top-notch quality sink with a sturdy body can offer incredible resistance to corrosion, scratches, knicks, and dents. On the contrary, a cheaper model will not take much time to look dirty, scuffed, and dull.

Hence, if you want to give your kitchen the most happening plumbing piece in the form of a sink, then rely only on best quality stainless steel. It can prove to be an apt companion for your kitchen by exhibiting the highest amount of tolerance for tears and wears.

The rest of the thing depends on how you treat it. If you clean and maintain it properly, you too will have no complaints about your choice. So, what is your decision? No matter whether you have a modern, country-style, or some other theme in your kitchen, you can depend on a stainless-steel sink to resonate with the vibe.

Also Read- Homemade Cheese Crackers Recipe #KidsintheKitchen

5 Chores Toddlers Can Be Involved In for Holiday Dinners

Holidays are supposed to be about families and the bonds we share as families. Helping each other in tasks, doing things together, deciding everything as a family is a special moment for the family. Having fun while doing holiday-related chores helps us make memories for later and brings giggles to the present.


I am not talking about including kids in the heavy lifting, these are the kinds of hosting jobs that don’t need to be done a certain way or you can easily do without. But, these chores helps toddlers feel involved and helpful. It helps them feel like an adult and show off their work later to the guests.

1. Setting the Table

Setting the table is one of the simple tasks that can make the kids think that they did something big because the whole party is going to assemble and see their handiwork. 

  • Let them help you select the table cloth and runner.
  • Let them help straighten them out on the table.
  • Let them place the placemats.
  • They can also help arrange the silverware.

2. Making a Centerpiece

Buying a good centerpiece can get expensive and holiday-themed ones aren’t used more than once a year anyway. So, a little DIY can help you save money and also help you have a lot of fun making one from scratch. You can use pinecones, fruit, gourds, or branches to create your own unique centerpiece.

  • Take the kids out in the garden or to the park.
  • Let them select flowers, branches, pinecones, whatever suits their fancy.
  • Allow them to arrange the collection the way they like while advising them a little about the design.

3. Arranging Flowers in a Vase

This is one of the simplest tasks on the list. All your kids have to do is place flowers in the vase for the most part. If you want them to be more involved in this, then they can create custom arrangements on their own with you looking over.

  • If you have a garden with flowers, take them there and help them choose the flowers.
  • Or, you can take them to the market and choose there.
  • Bring the flowers and help them trim the stems and remove leaves to make the flowers stand in the vase better.
  • Let them fill the vase with some water and explain to them that the water is supposed to keep the flowers fresh.
  • Let them place the flowers in the vase and arrange them as the like.

4. Designing Place Cards

This is one of the things that is the most optional in this list. So, even if they mess up, it doesn’t matter. Place cards aren’t that important in informal family dinners. But, if you have a large family, and some family drama, then this can come in handy. Plus, the kids get to show their artistic skills.

  • Give them a deck of cards, art supplies, and the list of family members attending.
  • Ask them to write one name on one card and decorate it the way they like.

5. Organizing Snacks Platters

Snacks during parties is a must, especially if there are kids at the party. Help them create snack platters that can be passed around before the meal. This way they can get involved in the food part without actually being a problem for you in the kitchen.

  • Set them on the dining table with the necessary requirements.
  • Give them a plate to set out snacks on and explain what kind of platter they are making. They can make –
    • Cheese and Crackers Platter – Give them cheese slices, cubes, and crackers.
    • Fruit Platter – Cut the fruits and give them the fruits in separate bowls.
    • Chips and Dip Platter – Give them the packet of chips and the bowl of dip.
  • After you have placed all the things on the table, ask them to arrange the items on the plate in a pretty way.

Final Thoughts

Kids love being involved in adult responsibilities, especially toddlers. They are filled with so much energy, excitement, and curiosity. They are at an age that is a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development. Let them be a part of preparations and then see the pride on their faces during the festivities.

The Importance of Teaching Kids Basic Life Skills

We have all laughed at memes and experiences online on “If only I learned this in school…” We often say that our education system needs to change, we need to teach kids more real-life skills than algebra, and so on. What we don’t focus on is that, it isn’t the sole responsibility of the educational institute to teach things, parents have the same responsibility toward their kids.

Skills like cooking, repairing, and swimming, are all life skills that might not necessarily be vital in life, thanks to modern advancements, but they are some of the basic survival skills that make a person independent and confident to live alone. 

kids active

Children learn by watching us. Involving them in various healthy activities is a great way to cultivate good habits in them, and teach them things that will help them survive independently. Start doing chores with them so that the tasks become more of a bonding moment between you and your kids. When we do things together with them, instead of asking them to do stuff, they are more accepting of learning the skill that is required to do the task.

You have to learn to be persuasive and influential to push your kids in the right direction; it is more like nudging them in the right direction and then watching them grow. Let them make mistakes, just be there to help them learn. If we don’t teach them basic things, then life will, and life might not be that kind to them.

If you do not introduce your kids to cooking, then they are only going to learn it if it is necessary or they have an interest in it. Because of this, when people move out of their parent’s house, eating healthy and home-cooked meals becomes one of their major struggles.

Repair work and swimming might not seem as important as cooking because they are not basic survival skills that everyone requires, but nevertheless, they are handy skills to have, in case something goes wrong. 

No matter how much we love our children, no matter how much we pamper them, they are going to move out as we did. Yes, we want to give them the best, we don’t want them to have to work for things, but they eventually will have to. Their situations CAN and WILL change, and we will be powerless to help it then. Change is an inevitable process, so you need to prepare them for the shift that is bound to happen in their lives.

To make the kids better equipped to deal with the reality of life when they grow up, we need to stop treating them like babies in their impressionable years and start treating them as transitioning adults.

Final Thoughts

Growing up is a combination of learning and getting a lot of things right, but seldom do we realize that what we teach our children is what is going to shape them into independent or dependent adults. Avoiding huge issues tomorrow is worth handling little tantrums today.

Important Things to Remember While Teaching Your Kids to Cook

Involving your children in chores is a great way to teach them new skills and spend some time bonding over trials and errors. I have always been an advocate for inculcating positive habits in children from a young age, knowing the basics of cooking is one of them.

Knowing how much effort goes into a certain task can only be learned when you actually do it or are a part of it. As the kids start growing, it is our responsibility to teach them everything they need to be independent. Change is inevitable, we are not going to be there to provide for them all their lives even if we want to.


Knowing how to cook also makes sure that an individual will have more healthy meals. We should provide them with the knowledge and tools to begin feeding themselves so that later they don’t have to struggle with takeouts and fast foods. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when introducing kids to cooking.

Safety First

Kitchens have a lot of potentially dangerous pieces of equipment that your kid can hurt themselves with if not careful. Make your first lesson about safety. Teach them how to hold the knives – from the handle and not the blade even if all they are going to do with it is passing it to you.

Hot stoves, sharp knives and peelers, heavy iron woks, big rolling pins – there are a lot of things that can be considered dangerous if played with. If your kid is too young then you will most likely only include them in mixing stuff, keep them away from the main area then. Have them seated at the dining table. If they are actually going to be helping you in cooking then a thorough lesson is important.

Don’t scare them though. Be vigilant when they start out as your tiny little helpers but don’t make them feel overwhelmed. Use a cheerful voice and smiling eyes to keep the mood light. Because if you are worried, they will sense it and mimic too, they won’t enjoy the experience, and that is the main goal along with learning.

Teach Them the Correct Terminology

Kids usually have their own special name for things, especially for words they cannot pronounce. It is an instinct to dumb things down for children, but you don’t need to. You will be surprised at the ease at which children learn new terminologies.

Use the correct words for tools and techniques so that they pick it up and don’t have to struggle later. If they are learning something new, they might as well learn it correctly. They also feel proud – when they use something they recently learned – correctly. This helps boost their self-confidence and makes them feel proud of themselves.

Use Rewards


If your kid isn’t interested in cooking, use rewards to persuade them. This isn’t just a hobby. Cooking is a skill that they need to learn to be independent. It is one of the basic survival skills. They don’t need to be restaurant quality chefs, they just need to learn how to feed themselves. Learning all the basics is more than enough.

Use their favorite shows or dishes as rewards for them helping you out in the kitchen with food preparation. You can also let them choose the dishes. This makes them more interested in the process. Don’t focus on just the healthy recipes, they will be bored real quick. Sprinkle in a mixture of healthy recipes and treats to keep it interesting.

With cooking, try baking because most children enjoy baking more than cooking. You can alternate the dishes with one being their choice and then the other being your choice.

Remember Your Goal

The above point brings me to this point. It is easy to get caught up in wanting to teach your kids all the dishes you know or experiment with new ones altogether. You should remember that the main goal here is to teach your kids one of the necessary skills that they need to survive and also to boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Knowing things makes an individual feel confident in their ability to do things and learn stuff. Cooking is one of the tasks that kids often relate to adults. Them being included in the process makes them feel important and like an adult.

It isn’t necessary for them to make top-notch dishes. They should just be learning something after each cooking session. Adjust the lessons according to their interests. If they aren’t interested, don’t keep pushing them to learn more complicated stuff. Let them do things at their own pace. Most importantly, have fun together.

Final Thoughts

What you basically need to keep in mind is that the whole idea behind teaching your kids to learn cooking from early on is to teach them an important skill that will help them become independent, boost their self-confidence and self-esteem, and help you bond with them. Just have fun with the process instead of treating it like a chore.

Coconut Almond Cranberry Granola Recipe

With the influx of holiday goodies coming up I’m trying to get ahead of the game and stock the house with healthy meal and snack options as well as cute & inexpensive handmade gifts for neighbors, teachers and friends. Breakfast is a great way to start so we made this Coconut, Cranberry and Almond Granola. They kids have been eating it on yogurt, ice cream and even dry from a bowl as an afternoon snack.

Coconut Almond Cranberry Granola Recipe

Granola is so simple and so easily customized to a family’s tastebuds. We used to make it weekly so that Rob and the kids had a healthy breakfast and snack option. We’d switch out the nuts and flavorings so it wasn’t the same old thing week after week. I’ve shared other granola recipes here to give you an idea of how easy to change it up.

Coconut Almond Cranberry Granola Recipe

This is one of our favorites by far. I love the chewiness of the cranberries, they get a toasty flavor from baking but they can be added later in the baking process or even at the end if you want something more tart. Switch them out for dried cherries for a really tasty treat. We can’t find dried cherries all the time so they’re treated like a gold when we do.

Coconut, Cranberry & Almond Granola


  • 4 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 300°

Toss together oats, freeze dried coconut, almonds and cranberries in a large bowl. In a glass measuring cup slightly warm the oil and honey in the microwave for 15-25 seconds just so the honey flows freely.

Add the vanilla to the oil and honey mixture and pour over the oats. With a wooden or silicone spoon thoroughly mix the ingredients so all of the oats are coated. This step take a minute or two.

Pour this out on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes. Your granola should be golden brown.

Remove from oven, spread onto a sheet of parchment to cool and it will be crunchy and ready to eat in 10 minutes.

Coconut Almond Cranberry Granola Recipe

Pour the granola in jars and decorate with ribbon and tags and gift our to anyone that eats 🙂 I especially like this idea as hostess gifts for those that are putting on elaborate parties or dinners. Who wants to cook the next day? Add the granola along with a gorgeous bouquet or bottle of wine and be known as the unique and useful gift giver.Coconut Almond Cranberry Granola Recipe

Creamy Pumpkin Dip Recipe #kidsinthekitchen

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I’m thinking of what we’re going to cook and prepare. Honestly I don’t even know if I’m hosting it. I do know that i want to make a few desserts. Rob likes my pumpkin cheesecake and the kids LOVE Pumpkin Dip.Creamy Pumpkin Dip Recipe Kids in the Kitchen , Cooking with Kids, Thanksgiving Dessert

So Shae and I experimented with a new recipe for pumpkin dip to see if it is good enough for Thanksgiving. It was.  Adding everything into the mixer is always Shae’s job. This time though she learned how to use the can opener. She struggled a little but it’s another kitchen task she has down now.Creamy Pumpkin Dip Recipe Kids in the Kitchen , Cooking with Kids, Thanksgiving Dessert

Creamy Pumpkin Dip


  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg


Over medium speed whip the cream cheese till soft and slowly add the sugars till blended.

Add pumpkin puree and spices and mix till combined, scraping down the sides as needed.

Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Serve with ginger snaps, graham crackers, apple slices, vanilla wafers or any other cookie or fruit.

Creamy Pumpkin Dip Recipe Kids in the Kitchen , Cooking with Kids, Thanksgiving DessertWhat’s on your menu for Thanksgiving?

Come join me and my co-hosts, Paula at Frosted Fingers, Sara at Sensibly Sara, Kate of Busy Bee Kate & Jeannette of EcoIncognito each week linking up a post, new or old, that feature the theme Kids in the Kitchen. It doesn’t matter what you are doing as long as you are doing it together, enjoying it and learning something along the way.

You’ll find these and many more ideas for healthful and unique food fun on the #KidsintheKitchen Pinterest Board.

Follow Melinda Babiak’s board #KidsintheKitchen on Pinterest.

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Cheesecake Pastry Pockets #kidsinthekitchen

Now that Halloween is over we’re emerging from our candy coma and enjoying some simple baking again. This past week we’ve had homemade carrot cake, mini peanut butter cookies and these Cheesecake Pasty Pockets. Shae of course took the reins on this dish and made it her own.Cheesecake Pastry Pockets #kidsinthekitchen #cookingwithkids

If it were up to me I would’ve added chopped frozen strawberries to the cheesecake filling, or served with a fruity dipping sauce OR dipped them in a melted chocolate sauce.

Making these was easy but even easier when you use premade pastry dough. These Goya discs are a great size, don’t need cutting, rolling or any prep.

Cheesecake Pastry Pockets


  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbls of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • pastry dough, thawed


In the bowl of a mixer beat cream cheese & 1/3 cup sugar till combined.  Add egg yolk, vanilla and salt and blend till smooth.

Add a heaping spoonful of cream cheese mixture to each pastry dough and fold and pinch closed.

Top with additional sugar sprinkle and bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes till golden brown.

Serve room temperature, topped with powdered sugar, fruit or caramel sauce.

Cheesecake Pastry Pockets #kidsinthekitchen #cookingwithkids

Cheesecake Pastry Pockets #kidsinthekitchen #cookingwithkidsShae had a little trouble with speed. She knew she had to be quick after adding the cheesecake filling so she could fold the dough.  I helped reinforce the pinch when she was done so we didn’t have any major catastrophes.Cheesecake Pastry Pockets #kidsinthekitchen #cookingwithkids

She’s really good at working the mixer lately. She’s learning how to lower the mixing head more gently and click the speed toggle one notch at a time. She’s so cute as she’s counting and measuring.Cheesecake Pastry Pockets #kidsinthekitchen #cookingwithkids

Cheesecake Pastry Pockets
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