A Nature Walk through Inniswoods

Inniswood Metro Gardens is located within a scenic nature preserve in Westerville, Ohio. There are trails and paths that lead you through woods and several theme gardens, past streams and ever changing flowers. We love making the trip to Inniswoods periodically throughout the seasons to see how the scenery is changing.

My daughter recently began to notice the changes that take place in the fall – she has especially been interested in picking up the leaves and acorns that have been falling from the trees. With her increased interest in the changing seasons, I thought it would be the perfect time to print off this toddler scavenger hunt for fall from Raising Seraphin and head out on a nature walk through Inniswoods.

We labeled each picture on our scavenger hunt sheet and then went in search of real life matches. Our walk through Inniswoods did not disappoint. The gardens and surrounding woods were showing off for fall with a variety of colored leaves, bushes filled with brightly colored berries, and acorns and other seeds spread across the paths.

Our scavenger hunt took us through both the wooded trails…

… and  paths through the curated gardens that Inniswoods offers.

We ended our nature walk in the Sisters’ Garden – A tribute garden “designed to celebrate the complexity of nature and the inquisitiveness of childhood, The Sisters’ Garden aspires “to nurture the nature of the child in everyone”.” We spent time searching for the mystical tree house nestled in the woods and in the playhouse. My daughter’s favorite part in this section is the interactive water feature pictured below.

After we finished our nature walk, we brought our scavenger hunt finds home to do some more sorting and matching. I cut apart the pictures from our scavenger hunt and taped them to a larger piece of paper. Each item my daughter pulled out of her basket we labeled and then matched to the picture. She had such a great time with this activity we had to head to our yard to collect more materials to sort.

Inniswoods offers something for everyone no matter the season. The details are as follows if you are planning a visit:

Directions: 940 S. Hempstead Road in Westerville, Ohio. From I-270, take exit 29, the State Route 3/Westerville exit.  Drive south on State Route 3 to Dempsey Road and turn left. Continue on Dempsey to Hempstead Road (second traffic light) and turn left.  Continue on Hempstead approximately one-quarter mile – stay on Hempstead Road as it turns right just past the Blendon Township Community Complex. The entrance is approximately one-tenth mile on the right-hand side.

Hours: Inniswood Metro Gardens is FREE and open daily throughout the year from 7 a.m. to dark.

Some additional tips:

  • Restrooms are located to the right of the main entrance and again next to the Sisters’ Garden
  • A stroller is manageable if you stick to the path through the gardens, not so much if you venture into the woods
  • Food and picnics are not permitted in the formal gardens
  • Be sure to check the events page for upcoming events for the whole family

 

A Guide to Central Ohio Metro Parks

A Nature Walk through Inniswoods
Inniswood Metro Gardens is located within a scenic nature preserve in Westerville, Ohio. There are trails and paths that lead
Read more.
A Visit to Slate Run Living Historical Farm
Slate Run Living Historical Farm provides the opportunity to experience first-hand what farm life would be like on an Ohio
Read more.

Take a Taste Tuesday with From This Point Forward

Hi! My name is Mariah and I’m very excited to be sharing with you for Take a Taste Tuesday! My blog, From This Point. Forward., isn’t primarily about food or even motherhood, but focuses on how my life changed after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at the age of 25. That being said, perhaps the most difficult part of my RA journey has been figuring out how to navigate motherhood while living with a chronic autoimmune disease. (If my story sounds familiar to you, please keep an eye on my new site – Mamas Facing Forward – which will soon offer resources and support for the unique challenges faced by moms who are also living with chronic illnesses!)

My boys are currently three and five, and they’ll be gaining a little sister in just a few months! Like many kids, my oldest ate just about everything under the sun with gusto until he hit about 18 months, at which point he narrowed his list of “acceptable” foods to mere handful of items – most of which are carbs and dairy. Getting him to consume any type of produce is often a challenge. And though my younger son is much more willing to eat a wider variety, he’s also apt to reject food if his older brother declares it to be gross. So I needed a life hack for easily getting nutrients into my family’s meals – even when I’m not feeling my best. And that’s where “green cubes” come in!

Green Cubes

In the summertime, we belong to a CSA, which stands for “community supported agriculture.” Basically this means we pay upfront to support a local farm, and then visit the farm once a week all summer and most of the fall to pick up our share of whatever the farm produces. This generally includes a huge variety of greens – spinach, kale, chard, beet greens – and between the CSA and our own garden I often end up with a literal mountain of greens that we have zero chance of eating before it wilts (particularly since the kids won’t eat it fresh at all!)

So, instead of letting the greens go to waste, I make a batch of green cubes. This involves gently steaming the greens, pureeing them, and popping them in the freezer. I use an immersion blender and one of those baby food freezer trays – because that’s what I happen to have – but a food processor and a regular ice cube tray would work just as well.

I will admit that this process can be somewhat time consuming – so I generally try to save it for a time when I have at least a little bit of energy to spare. I do think the investment of time is worthwhile, however, as it gives me a quick option for easily adding nutrients to meals later on. I also find that I get more and more efficient with this process as time goes on. These days I’m able to multitask in the kitchen – cleaning up from dinner, for example – as I simultaneously put a mountain of greens through the steamer in batches.

Once the green cubes are frozen, I keep them in a giant Ziploc bag in the freezer and add them to anything and everything. I throw in one or two almost anytime I’m cooking ground meat – meatballs, meatloaf, taco meat. It’s also a great way to add extra nutrients to jarred tomato sauce. And while I refer to these as “green cubes,” because I make them most often using greens, you can do the same thing with other vegetables too. For example, if I buy a big bag of baby carrots and we don’t get through them all, I’ll throw the rest in the steamer and make a batch of orange cubes to mix in with the Kraft mac and cheese!

Veggie Banana Muffins

Of course, green cubes are only effective at getting nutrients into your kids if they’ll actually eat the meal you mix them into! My oldest currently refuses sauces (except ketchup) and all meat, so unfortunately he’ll completely reject most of the suggestions I just made above. But he will happily consume any baked goods I care to provide – which is how I came up with what we call “green banana muffins.”

In addition to getting my children to happily consume kale or chard, I’ve managed to sneak some other nutrition into these muffins as well. And, once you have a bag of green/veggie cubes in your freezer, this recipe is simple enough to make often and let the kiddos help!

Ingredients

1 ½ cups flour

½ cup sugar (the banana muffin recipe I started with called for ¾ cup sugar, but I usually use less because I add vanilla protein powder and it’s a bit sweet. I’ll use even less if I substitute applesauce for the egg!)

2 scoops (about ¼ cup) protein powder (This is totally optional, but as my oldest doesn’t currently eat meat I’m always looking for ways to get extra protein into him! I generally use vanilla whey powder)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

3 large ripe bananas, mashed (when bananas start turning brown in our house, I peel them and throw them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer so I can use them for these muffins instead of wasting them)

1 egg OR ¼ cup applesauce (I’m including an alternative here not only because it gives you options for different nutrients but also because I can’t be the only mom who starts a baking project and then discovers I’m missing necessary ingredients! I’ve totally been known to squeeze an applesauce pouch into this muffin batter!)

1/3 cup butter OR 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (There are lots of health benefits to coconut oil and I think it tastes great. Also – and this may be TMI – one of the reasons I particularly love it in this recipe is that it’s a natural remedy for constipation, which can sometimes be a problem for my oldest when he’s being particularly picky)

2 big cubes (about the size of a baby food jar) cooked, pureed vegetables (I usually make this recipe with green cubes, but you can also do it with sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower, or beets – though I will warn that while the beets turn the batter a delightful shade of hot pink, the baked muffins sadly don’t retain much of the pink color!)

Directions

Mix ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your muffin tins. I recommend using paper liners or coating muffin pans with a non-stick spray. We have a couple of silicone molds just to make these muffins a bit more fun! (Though these days I have to admit I wish the dinosaur one was nothing by T-rexes, because both boys tend to get upset when the T-rex muffins are gone haha!)

Even when we make a double batch of these, they rarely stick around in our house for very long. They’ve always been a hit with our friends – so I hope your family enjoys them too!

Each Tuesday for the next several weeks a fellow mom/friend/community member will be sharing a fun recipe, tips to include kids in the cooking process, or a great family restaurant for “Take a Taste Tuesday.” If you are interested in sharing your eating and/or cooking fun be sure to connect with me via email!

Take a Taste Tuesday with Healthy Little Handful

Hi there! I’m Lacey from Healthy Little Handful. I am a full time elementary reading teacher and mommy to an almost 2 year old little handful who absolutely refuses to eat her veggies! I am very new to the mom blog world and super excited to be a part of Take a Taste Tuesday. My blog Healthy Little Handful focuses on incorporating healthy ingredients into my daughter’s diet in hidden ways. When my daughter began baby led weaning at 6 months old she loved to try all fruits and vegetables, but around the age of 10 months she started refusing any and all veggies. Because I didn’t want her missing out on all those awesome nutrients, I had to become creative in how I got her to eat them. I began creating recipes with hidden veggies and other healthy ingredients, while still offering her veggies in their true form at the same time. My hope is that someday she will learn to love her veggies, but for now I will continue hiding them in every way I can!

One of my current favorite recipes for hiding veggies are cauliflower tortillas. In our house we absolutely LOVE tortillas. There is not a week that goes by where I am not using them, so I decided to try a much healthier tortilla option. Just in case you didn’t already know, cauliflower is considered a super food. It is sometimes overlooked because a lot of people consider “white food” to be less nutritious (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta). While it is true we should be eating a rainbow, we cannot forget that cauliflower is absolutely packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Actually, there are so many awesome benefits to cauliflower that I can’t even list them all without going completely overboard! Give it a Google and you will be amazed!

I keep my recipe for cauliflower tortillas pretty simple because I love to use them for so many different things. You could absolutely spice up this recipe with extra seasonings and other flavors of cheese depending on how you plan to use them. I also love to make a batch of these tortillas and freeze them so I can quickly put together a lunch for my little one in no time at all. Here is how we love to use cauliflower tortillas:

Tacos: 

I have to tell you, my daughter does not typically eat tacos or any other form of ground beef. I first tried this recipe for cauliflower tortillas on taco night and was completely amazed. Not only did she eat her entire taco, but she was able to pick up the tortilla and eat it like a true pro. The texture of these tortillas is more like a “hash brown” than a regular tortilla, so it is soft and easy for little ones to bite into.

Mini Pizzas:

Since my daughter took to the cauliflower tortilla so well as a taco shell I decided to try and expand its use. One of my quick and easy meal options has always been tortilla pizzas and my daughter loves them. I first made my daughter a cauliflower pizza on her Mimi’s day to watch her. I came home from work and her grandmas said, “She sure did love that pizza mom, she ate the whole thing!” When I told her that the crust was made of cauliflower she absolutely couldn’t believe it!

Grilled cheese:

This is such a quick and simple lunch to throw together for your little one, whether you call it a grilled cheese and serve it with tomato soup, or call it a quesadilla and serve it with a side of salsa and sour cream. All you need to do is melt some of your little ones favorite cheese in between 2 cauliflower tortillas and you have a delicious, healthy, and easy meal. I usually do this in a pan on the stove as opposed to the microwave so that the extra crispiness helps hold the grilled cheese/quesadilla together better.

The possibilities with these cauliflower tortillas are endless. I hope you and your little ones enjoy this recipe and can think of even more delicious ways to use them. Here is my recipe for cauliflower tortillas:

Cauliflower Tortillas

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: about 10 tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of finely shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.) Begin by cutting up your head of cauliflower. Cut it into chunks and transfer to a colander to wash. Once washed, transfer small batches to your food processor. You may need to do 3-4 batches to ensure you get the right texture. Pulse the food processor a couple of times to “rice” your cauliflower. Empty the riced cauliflower into a bowl and continue with another batch. Once all cauliflower has been “riced” transfer back into the food processor.

2.) Once all cauliflower has been “riced” transfer      cauliflower to a thin dish cloth and ring as much water out as you can. After water has been drained     transfer cauliflower back into the food processor.
3.) In the food processor combine your cauliflower with 2 eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Pulse a few times until ingredients are combined.
4.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
5.) Roll cauliflower mixture into golf ball sized balls and spread out on the baking sheet. I can usually fit about 6 tortillas on a baking sheet at a time.

6.) Press the tortillas down with your hand until they are completely flat and thin just like a tortilla.

7.) Place in the oven to bake, flipping once the edges start to turn brown (about 10 minutes) and cooking for another 10 minutes on the other side.

8.) Serve and eat right away with your favorite fillings or place into the freezer and allow to freeze for a couple of hours before placing in a freezer storage bag. Defrost and reheat them to make pizzas, grilled cheese, and more!

I hope you enjoy this recipe for cauliflower tortillas and would love to hear of any new and delicious ways you use them in your cooking! If you are interested in more hidden veggie recipes you can find them at www.healthylittlehandful.com and on instagram @healthylittlehandful.

Each Tuesday for the next several weeks a fellow mom/friend/community member will be sharing a fun recipe, tips to include kids in the cooking process, or a great family restaurant for “Take a Taste Tuesday.” If you are interested in sharing your eating and/or cooking fun be sure to connect with me via email!

Guide to Central Ohio Children’s Museums

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum
It’s Spring Break! which means there are a few extra hours in the week for an adventure. I have heard
Read more.
Learning Through Play at the Duke Energy Children’s Museum
We recently spent a weekend exploring Cincinnati, Ohio. The first stop on our adventure was the Duke Energy Children’s Museum
Read more.
A visit to the AHA! Children’s Museum
We had the time and opportunity over winter break to explore the AHA! A Hands-On Adventure, A Children’s Museum, in
Read more.

Central Ohio U-Pick Farms

Apple Picking at Legend Hills Orchard
We visited Legend Hills Orchard for the first time last fall and immediately fell in love. We made the journey to Legend
Read more.

 

Apple Picking at Legend Hills Orchard

We visited Legend Hills Orchard for the first time last fall and immediately fell in love. We made the journey to Legend Hills again this fall for apple picking and determined Legend Hills is now part of our fall traditions. This family owned and operated farm is located in Utica, Ohio, approximately a 50 minute drive from Columbus. The rolling terrain makes for beautiful scenery while apple picking, and the farm market offers an abundance of fresh produce and other goodies that you didn’t know you needed.

Upon arrival we check into the farm market to pick up our apple bag (small – $10/large – $15), map of the orchard with the best spots for picking circled, and a fruit pole for making those out of reach apples easier to pick.

After we gather our apple picking supplies it’s time to head out into the orchard. The orchard is relatively large, so the employees always recommend driving to our destination.

Once we make it to our destination it’s time to get out and pick. I love this orchard because the mature apple trees are bursting with apples and it’s possible to find some trees with apples low enough for my daughter to reach and pick her own.

 

We find one of the best parts of apple picking is to taste test the crop along the way. It would be a bummer to be stuck with a bag of apples that doesn’t suit your taste buds because a taste test wasn’t completed.

Once we pick all the apples we need, we head back to the farm market to pay. There is an abundance of fall supplies; pumpkins, squash, and Indian corn, that we then stock up on. We never leave Legend Hills with just apples!

If you are looking for a low key apple orchard with beautiful scenery, consider checking out Legend Hills. Each time we have been there the crowds have been low, so we feel as though we are picking apples in our personal orchard.

The details:

Produce: Legend Hills Orchard offers ready-picked or u-pick: apples, peaches, strawberries, asparagus, and pine trees (dug or cut) for Christmas. They also press and market their own fresh apple cider, harvest honey from their bee hives, and sell fresh garden produce such as homegrown sweet corn, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkins, gourds, and Indian Corn in growing season.

Directions: I plugged “Legend Hills Orchard” into my GPS and the directions led me straight to the Orchard. The address: 11155 Reynolds Rd, Utica, Ohio 43080.

Hours: The farm market is open year round from 9-6 Monday thru Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday. Check the website for u-pick updates.

Some additional tips:

  • It’s a working farm, so wear tennis shoes or boots.
  • There is a restroom in the farm market. Be prepared though – there is no changing table for the babe.
  • The orchard is set it hilly terrain. Wagon pulling can be tricky, but is doable.
  • If you are up for a sweet treat when you are done picking, the Velvet Ice Cream, Ye Olde Mill is a 5 minute drive away.

Introducing Peekaboo Beans to the U.S.

I was recently introduced to Peekaboo Beans – Playwear for Kids on the Grow, by my friend Kelly Zarifa, who is a fellow Speech Language Pathologist and also a Play Stylist for the company.  Peekaboo Beans is a sensory friendly, ethically manufactured play wear company for kids “on the grow.” The clothing brand was founded by a mom in Canada and the U.S. launch took place September 19th. I must admit, reviewing a children’s clothing line is a little out of the norm for me, but considering that the clothing company’s mission is to be focused on play, I was intrigued and had to give it a try.

 Providing the Ingredients for a Playful Life…

… is the Peekaboo Beans mission.  This company is on a mission to promote PLAY in children! Not only do they create clothes with play and development in mind, but they also host pop-up play dates to get kids back outside and playing with one another. This socially conscious ideal also lends itself in the company’s philanthropic work with playgroundbuilders.org which is an organization that builds playgrounds in war-torn countries.

What We Wore

Kelly provided us with a few pieces from the Peekaboo Beans Fall line to take for a test play…

The Friendship Tee ($30)

The Open Wings Tunic ($44)

The Spirit Legging ($26)

The Details – There is so much thought put into the details of these clothes. From the fabrics used to the design choices made, children at play is at the heart of every decision that was put in these items. The tunic my daughter wore was designed to be worn in different styles as children grow. First it can be worn as a dress, then a tunic, and then a Tee. Her leggings are ruched at the bottom to outlast a growth spurt. These simple details mean my daughter can wear these pieces for multiple seasons. She’s itty bitty for her age; so at the rate she grows, they will probably fit her for multiple years. No more of the classic Mom line, “Don’t worry, honey. You’ll grow into it.” These clothes are actually designed to fit your child as she grows! Other thoughtful, kid-friendly details include: chin guards to avoid zippers pinching skin, thumb holes for easy layering, and easy pull-on waistbands to support independent dressing.

Personal Thoughts

  • I have to admit, I was initially shocked at the sticker price for these pieces of clothing. I have a budget and find it hard to spend above a certain amount on me, let alone clothing for a toddler. However, after feeling and seeing the clothing items in person, I could tell that these are high quality pieces and could rationalize the cost. Peekaboo Beans doesn’t believe in “fast fashion,” so these clothing items are built to last and their thoughtful design allows them to be worn for multiple seasons and by multiple children.
  • Peekaboo Beans also designs their clothing with movement in mind and offers clothing that kids love to play in. A-line shapes accommodate comfort for “buddha bellies” and flatlock stitching creates less irritation on sensitive skin. My daughter’s movements were in no way inhibited by her clothing.

  • The clothing fit well. I often have a hard time finding clothes that will fit my daughter lengthwise AND around her waist. Often pants just don’t stay up. The pants we took for a test run fit her perfectly in both the length and waist. The best part is these clothes are preshrunk so that they will always fit your child perfectly.
  • I was pleased to learn that these clothes are produced free from carcinogenic dyes, heavy metals and harmful chemicals that can be absorbed by the skin. I am completely worry-free about her attire when my daughter is running around in these clothes.
  • The clothing line is adorable! The pieces are designed to be mixed and matched. My daughter loves showing off the butterfly detail on the back of her tunic.

I have to say I am sold on the Peekaboo Beans clothing line. From the initial feel of the high-quality cloth to the details put into each piece, I could tell thought was put behind this clothing line.  If you are interested in learning more about Peekaboo Beans or would like to place an order, click here to visit Kelly’s site or drop her an email at kzarifa.peekaboobeans@gmail.com.

Take a Taste Tuesday with the Menu Mommy

Hello, my name is Tammy and I am the Menu Mommy. As a mother of two young children and a full-time teacher, I love and loathe dinnertime. It’s one of our favorite daily bonding activities, but putting dinner on the table can lead to sacrificing our family playtime. In my blog, I share time saving tips, recipes, and creative ideas for how to meal prep efficiently, bring your children into the kitchen for fun cooking, and provide healthy, appetizing dinners for the whole family.

One of the biggest struggles I hear from parents (myself included) is how to get children to try new foods. My husband and I love variety in our diet, and we want our children to develop an adventurous palette as well. One of my favorite ways to encourage children to try new foods is by using books to help them get excited about an upcoming meal. In this post, I will suggest some excellent children’s books that will help you do just that. Not only will these books entice your child to try your next culinary masterpiece, but they will also help promote an interest in literacy, allow for family bonding time, and maybe even start a new tradition in your home!

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

My son is obsessed with everything dinosaur and dragons come in as a close second. This humorous book talks about a dragon’s favorite food, tacos! Dragons Love Tacos is sure to get your child psyched about your next family taco night, and they’ll be eager to try various toppings on their tacos as well. After reading this book, you can create a taco bar using a variety of proteins and add-ons. Let your children assemble their own tacos to promote independent eating and avoid dinnertime objections. Who knows, they may even want a taste of some spicy salsa!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

As a mom, spaghetti and meatballs in marinara sauce is a great way to add extra vegetables to a meal by either mixing in chopped spinach with the sauce, shredded carrots to the meatballs, or adding spaghetti squash to pasta. What better way to foster excitement about dinner than reading a story where it falls from the sky!

First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger

My sister and I are both sushi fanatics. We especially love making our own sushi, an art we are still perfecting. My sister and I could not wait to share our obsession with my son. We started him off with deconstructed avocado rolls when he was about ten-months-old. To celebrate the occasion, my sister bought him this adorable book, which teaches sushi terminology through inviting, scrumptious illustrations. It is still a favorite in our home!

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

I have a dream of someday planting my own “vegetable soup garden” just like Elhert does in this book. For now, I just have to settle with making vegetable soup inspired by this story. I recommend going all-out by bringing your child to the grocery store or farmers market to select their ingredients, having your child help wash and cut the vegetables (under close supervision), and cook your own vegetable soup! To save time, you can even make the soup in a slow cooker and your child can turn on the appliance to begin the cooking process!

The possibilities for incorporating books into mealtime to promote healthy eating are endless. While any of these books would make a fabulous addition to your child’s home collection, you can also check out your local library for these awesome books.

Do you or your child have any books you would add to this list?

Each Tuesday for the next several weeks a fellow mom/friend/community member will be sharing a fun recipe, tips to include kids in the cooking process, or a great family restaurant for “Take a Taste Tuesday.” If you are interested in sharing your eating and/or cooking fun be sure to connect with me via email!

Take a Taste Tuesday with State of Motherhood

I’m Zoe and I’m delighted to have been asked to be a part of ‘Take a Taste Tuesday’. I live with my family in a little town called Bishopbriggs in Glasgow, Scotland where I’ve been a stay at home Mum for the last 3 1/2 years.
I was inspired to start my own blog @stateofmotherhood after a couple of years following other mummy bloggers. In my blog I share my day to day life as a stay at home Mum to my 3 year old daughter Mae Josie and my 10 month old son Bertie.
I personally spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen as I really enjoy cooking. This is definitely due to the fact that when I was growing up my Mum gave me and my sister free reign in the kitchen. We also didn’t keep sweets in the house, so if we wanted a sugar hit, we would bake ourselves a cake! I want to encourage my children to have confidence in the kitchen like I did. I like to get them trying lots of different flavours and textures but more importantly I want them to have healthy attitudes towards food. That’s why I try to get the kids cooking in the kitchen whenever I can. Mae Josie loves to get involved and has helped me ever since I can remember. However, Bertie is really still at the ‘watch and learn’ stage.
My youngest Bertie has been teething pretty badly for the last few weeks. So when I came across this recipe for sweet potato and chamomile teething rusks, I had to try them. Looking over this recipe from My Kids Lick the Bowl, I knew right away that it was a perfect one to get MJ involved in. It has only 4 ingredients and very simple steps. At the moment when I cook with MJ I always measure everything out beforehand. She gets bored very quickly if we don’t, as she’s still a little young to fully understand that part. I then put all the ingredients into separate bowls so it’s easy for her to identify the different ingredients.
Any part that is safe for her to do, I let her. With this recipe the only part I played was pouring the hot water into the pan with the sweet potato and draining the hot water once it was cooked. The rest was down to MJ. She tipped ingredients into bowls/pots/blenders, blended the oats into oat flour, mixed up the dough, cut the baking paper, rolled it out and then cut it into pieces before we baked it.
Even the simplest task, like tipping flour into the mixing bowl, is exciting for her. She can do anything from washing vegetables to using a butter knife to cutsoft things like butter/mushrooms/bananas, etc. My advice is to get your child to help wherever you can. It not only helps them develop cooking skills, but helps with hand eye coordination and dexterity.
I also always find that when I get MJ to cook with me she is much more likely to eat things she normally wouldn’t. Needless to say, the girl who never eats sweet potato wolfed these rusks down and Bertie was one happy baby. Definitely a winning recipe in our house!

Healthy Baby Rusks Teething Biscuits

Cook 25 mins

Total 35 mins

Yield 12 rusks

Ingredients

  • 200g sweet potato
  • Chamomile tea bag
  • 1 Cup oat flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, or other light flavoured oil

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the sweet potato
  2. Place into a saucepan and cover with water, add the tea bag to the water
  3. Boil  sweet potato until tender
  4. Remove the tea bag and drain the majority of the liquid, leave a minimal amount, 1-2 tsp to help with the puréeing
  5. Purée the sweet potato, yield should be approximately 3/4 of a cup
  6. In a bowl Add oat flour, sweet potato purée and oil
  7. Mix with a wooden spoon or similar until a ball forms
  8. Line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone sheet
  9. Place the dough on the baking paper and roll to approximately 5mm thick
  10. Take a knife and score the dough into large shapes that your baby will be able to grasp
  11. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25mins, until firm to touch and golden on the edges
  12. Cool
  13. Snap the rusks along the score marks
  14. Store in an airtight container

Each Tuesday for the next several weeks a fellow mom/friend/community member will be sharing a fun recipe, tips to include kids in the cooking process, or a great family restaurant for “Take a Taste Tuesday.” If you are interested in sharing your eating and/or cooking fun be sure to connect with me via email!