My boys can eat a box of bars (we buy either Kashi or Cliff Zbars) in a few short days. I think if we let them, they'd survive on bars and applesauce. Ever since I found this recipe for Clean Eating Chocolate Chip Protein Bars on The Gracious Pantry our grocery bill has decreased. In addition to knowing that they are made from whole foods, I like that these bars have more protein than the store bought bars. We make these often, and the boys love to help.
I've written about how important it is to me that my little guys grow up familiar with the kitchen and cooking. Each time we cook together we review some of the basic rules. Hand washing is, of course, a top priority.
Without realizing it, they are learning basic math terms and principles each time they measure and combine ingredients.
You can read HERE about the importance of sensory play. These bars require mixing by hand. I love when cooking is multisensory.
Sometimes even when a recipe doesn't require hand mixing, we still prefer to do it this way.
Cooking together fosters sibling unity.
My oldest is especially interested in each ingredient and the health benefits. He is always asking, "What does spinach do for you?" The other day he asked me, "What does tonic water do for your body?" after tasting some tonic water while we were doing an experiment with Jello. It makes me giggle, but really, it is great how he is learning which foods are beneficial and which are not. Sometimes he will bite into a carrot and say, "These are good for my eyes," and other times he will take a drink of almond milk and say, "This calcium is good for my bones." It is very sweet.
This is one (of the few) recipes I follow detail for detail. The only difference is that the author of The Gracious Pantry suggests using quick oats. We don't buy quick oats, so I've never made it with anything other than old fashioned oats. We eat them right away, and they taste great! I am very careful not to overcook, because they aren't as yummy when they are dry and firmer.
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