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Real Food Party Drink Recipes

Real Food Party Drink Recipes

I don’t know about you but I love a party! Would you love to have some fun, yummy drinks to serve that aren’t full of artificial colors and flavors? I don’t drink alcohol but I love having a fun party drink to serve. I have done a lot of different things over the years, but I love the idea of making fruit punch from real food ingredients. There are a thousand recipes for fruit punch but most of them have cool aid or soda or some other ingredient that I like to avoid in my diet and my kid’s diets.

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Cooking with Kids-Ice Cream in a Bag

Ice cream is a super fun treat for kids and adults and it couldn’t be easier to whip some up in a zip lock bag by hand. Kids can do the mixing all on their own and have a tasty treat to enjoy in just a few minutes. 

kids making ice cream in a bag

You need a gallon sized zip lock bag and a quart sized bag, some rock salt, ice and ice cream ingredients. I have made this with my kids several times and it’s always so much fun! It’s also good motor skill building since they have to put in the work to get the reward. The sensory experience of the cold ice, the smooth plastic, and the sweet, yummy smelling ice cream is awesome as well. And SCIENCE is involved in watching the reaction of the milk as it turns from liquid to solid as it freezes. 


Ice cream in a bag, Little Sprouts Learning

This activity has so much to offer kids, plus they get a yummy, chemical free snack from the deal in the end. Who doesn’t love a super fun dessert? I know I do. 

Ice cream in a bag, cooking with kids

Ice Cream in a Bag
Simple homemade ice cream made in a zip lock bag.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 C. Heavy cream
  2. 1/2 C. Whole milk
  3. 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
  4. 2 T. Raw Sugar
  5. Quart Size zip lock bag
  6. Gallon Size zip lock bag
  7. 6 C. Ice
  8. 1/4 C. Rock Salt
Instructions
  1. Wash hands and have kids wash theirs.
  2. Hold quart size bag open and let kids pour cream, milk, vanilla and sugar into bag.
  3. Zip bag tightly for each child.
  4. Let child place ice cream back into gallon sized bag.
  5. Let child add ice and rock salt to gallon bag.
  6. Zip gallon bag tightly for each child.
  7. Let them shake for 5 minutes vigorously until ice cream is firm.
  8. Remove quart bags from gallon bags carefully making sure not to spill salty liquid.
  9. Place quart bags in freezer until ready to eat.
  10. Snip bottom corner from bag with scissors and squeeze ice cream into dish.
  11. Eat and enjoy!
Little Sprouts Learning http://littlesproutslearning.co/
Whip up a batch of this super fun treat, or check out the blog for other great cooking with kids recipes and activities. Cooking is a wonderful way for kids to learn so many things including healthy eating, trying new foods, math, science, and reading skills and so much more. Get your kids in the kitchen today. Click here to see why it’s so important!

kids shaking ice cream in bags

Cooking with Kids-Spaghetti Pie

 

Using up leftovers can be boring sometimes. Having your leftovers a new way is a great way to make them seem appealing again. Leftover spaghetti makes an amazing spaghetti pie. I got this idea years ago from my friend Joyce and I don’t have her original recipe, but the idea is definitely hers. When I was a young cook, she helped me by sharing some of her tried and true favorite recipes with me and this was one thing she taught me to cook. All you need for a delicious new meal is some leftover spaghetti and some leftover noodles. Click here to check out how we make our own roasted tomato sauce from our garden tomatoes for our spaghetti sauce.

kids cooking spaghetti pie


The kids LOVE making and eating this because who doesn’t like pie? It’s a great way to serve them spaghetti that is not as messy as the loose noodles that fall all over the floor and everywhere. If you are a childcare provider or have a lot of kids, you know what I mean about how messy spaghetti is. We have spaghetti for dinner and then let the kids make it into spaghetti pie the next day for lunch so we can avoid a lot of that mess.

We use whole wheat pasta for an even healthier dish.  

cooking spaghetti pie with kids

The first thing you need to do is mix your leftover spaghetti noodles with one beaten egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and a fourth of a cup of parmesean cheese. Then press the mixture into a pie shell. Next add some cottage cheese and then top with your leftover spaghetti sauce. Top with some grated mozzarella and parmesean cheese and toss it in the oven.

spaghetti pie shell

Now get out your leftovers and get to creating. Making leftovers into something new is an art, what do you transform?

 

making spaghetti pie with kids

Joyce's Spaghetti Pie
Cheesy, savory leftover transformation.
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Ingredients
  1. Leftover spaghetti noodles
  2. 1 beaten egg
  3. 2 T. melted butter
  4. 1/4 C shredded parmesean cheese
  5. 2/3 C cottage cheese
  6. Leftover spaghetti sauce
  7. 1 C shredded mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Wash hands and have kids wash theirs
  3. Beat one egg
  4. Mix egg, butter, parmesean cheese and spaghetti noodles well.
  5. Press into 9 inch pie shell
  6. Top with cottage cheese
  7. Top with leftover spaghetti sauce
  8. Top with mozerella
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until top is bubbly and slightly browned
  10. Cut into slices and serve
Adapted from Joyce McCroskey
Adapted from Joyce McCroskey
Little Sprouts Learning http://littlesproutslearning.co/

 

 

Cooking with Kids-Cat Eyes

Sometimes it’s hard to engage kids in activities and sometimes it’s even harder to encourage kids to eat healthy foods. I love how some recipes have healthy ingredients, like these cat eyes, but they are also irresistible to kids because they have a cool name. When I make smoothies for the kids, if I want them to drink a green one, I call it a Hulk smash smoothie. Well, who doesn’t want to be the Hulk? I know my kids do.

kid's cooking cat eyes

Cat eyes are fun, cute and irresistible with a name like cat eyes. Kids love animals, so any time you want them to eat something healthy, you just need to give it an animal name and it’s suddenly irresistible.


kids making cat eyes for snack

These cat eyes have several steps the kids can do on their own, and they are great for building fine motor skills. They even have ingredients kids love to eat, so it’s a win for everyone. These cat eyes are great for an after school snack, or any snack and the kids can do them on their own from start to finish. That’s the best kind of snack making to build self-esteem for the kids.

Cat eyes are also made with simple ingredients you probably already have around the house. Banana slicing is a great self-esteem builder and fine motor skill builder, so get out those butter knives and give your kids a delicious job to do. They will love it.

cat eyes for snack

Cat Eyes
Yummy snack for kids to make themselves.
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Ingredients
  1. Ritz Crackers
  2. Peanut Butter
  3. Bananas to slice
  4. Raisins
Instructions
  1. Wash hands and have kids wash theirs
  2. Spread peanut butter on crackers
  3. Place a banana slice on each cracker
  4. Top with a raisin
Notes
  1. If you have children with nut allergies, you could easily substitute sun butter for the peanut butter.
Little Sprouts Learning http://littlesproutslearning.co/
If you want to check out some great reasons to cook with your kids, click here. If you want to get a bunch of other great recipes to cook with kids, check out other recipes on the blog or this cool book from my favorite magazine, Chop Chop. Just click on the picture to view it on Amazon. This post contains affiliate links.

Cooking with Kids-Lotsa Pasta

Cooking with kids is fun and rewarding! This recipe for Lotsa Pasta was a huge hit here at Little Sprouts. The possibilities of what you could add to it are endless. Don’t you just LOVE a recipe that is versatile? I also love that you can use your leftovers up in this dish. Whatever you have lying around your fridge that’s boring and needs a new life could be perked up with this dish. Easy, inexpensive, and something that’s great fun to cook with the kidlets. What could be better?

Lotsa Pasta-Cooking with Kids

There are many great reasons to let your kids get their hands on the fun in the kitchen. I had kids as young as one helping dump stuff in the skillet on the stove for this dish. As long as you watch them closely, kids can do many of the steps. If you’re worried about them getting burned, you can let them stay at the table with the ingredients and just bring the skillet to them to dump in the ingredients. Then you can just carry the skillet back to the stove for cooking.


 

Kids cooking lotsa pasta

Click here to see some of the benefits of cooking with kids.

Kids Cooking-Lotsa Pasta

Lotsa Pasta
Veggie pasta packed with flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. Whole Wheat Pasta
  2. 4 Slices Bacon
  3. 1/2 C. Chopped Onion
  4. 1/4 C. Water
  5. Assorted Chopped Veggies
  6. Salt and Pepper to Taste
  7. 1 Clove Crushed Garlic
  8. 1 tsp. Thyme
Instructions
  1. Wash hands and have kids wash theirs
  2. Cook pasta and drain
  3. Saute bacon and onion until bacon is crisp and onion is tender
  4. Add veggies and cook to desired doneness
  5. Add seasonings and water
  6. Add pasta and mix well
Notes
  1. Leftover meat could be cubed or shredded and added to this dish as well.
Little Sprouts Learning http://littlesproutslearning.co/

Cooking with Kids-Healthy Egg and Veggie Breakfast Casserole

Cooking with kids is great fun and there are so many things kids can learn. Math, science, motor skills, cooperation, taking turns, and so many other things about cooking are beneficial to kids. In addition, kids are 80% more likely to try new foods if they helped prepare them. Click here to see more reasons why you should cook with kids!

Remember to be patient with cooking with kids. They will make mistakes, but it’s okay, that’s how they learn. I have been cooking for over 30 years and I still make mistakes. Make sure you get all the ingredients prepared and out before you invite the kids to the activity to prevent disaster when they get bored. This casserole is teeming with great nutrition for kid’s growing bodies. My kids love egg casserole and so do I. Yum yum.

“Popping” eggs as my kids call it, or one boy always said “hatching” them, is a great motor skill for kids to learn. It’s hard to crack an egg successfully and early learning helps develop great skills for later in life. This egg casserole had a lot of eggs, so it was a great opportunity for each child to get to try more than once. Some of them didn’t want to after the first smashed egg flew all over the table, but that’s okay too. They don’t have to do it if they don’t want to.


kids cracking eggs

kids cracking eggs to make egg casseroleKids cooking egg casseroleDumping ingredients into bowls helps even one year olds learn to control their fine motor skills and helps them build their confidence.

cooking egg casserole with kidsThis breakfast casserole has several servings of vegetables in it as well as nutritious eggs, cheese, and tortillas. All of the ingredients are dumped into a bowl and mixed, then poured into a casserole dish, so most of the steps can be done by the children without much assistance, which helps build their confidence levels in cooking.

vegetable and egg casserole, cooking with kids

kids cooking egg and veggie casserole

Notice in this picture, you see my food mover. I used this tool to help scrape the whole eggs that fell on the table so they wouldn’t be wasted. Being prepared for the cooking disasters is 9/10 of the way to success with the kids.

Egg and Veggie Casserole

This casserole tasted amazing! I recommend you get in the kitchen with our kids and make this or some other recipe as soon as you can.

Healthy Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast casserole made with healthy ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. Dozen Eggs
  2. 2 C. Milk
  3. Salt and Pepper to taste
  4. Minced veggies of your choice (we used broccoli and kale)
  5. 2 C. Shredded cheese of your choice (we used mozerella)
  6. 12 chopped corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Wash hands and have kids wash theirs.
  2. Mix eggs and milk and beat well.
  3. Add seasoning, veggies and cheese.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Bake at 350 for about one hour or until egg is set in the center.
Notes
  1. Breakfast meats such as cooked bacon, cooked sausage or ham could be added as well.
Little Sprouts Learning http://littlesproutslearning.co/
What do your kids like to cook?

What-Kids-Eat-Wednesday

 

Outstanding Oatmeal, Inexpensive and Delicious!

Oatmeal is amazing. It’s delicious, inexpensive, warm, nourishing, and filling. Making oatmeal for my kids is much less expensive than using processed cereal and it’s also a whole food that I can choose what I add to. Click here to read about some of oatmeal’s many health benefits.

Oatmeal can be made in tons of different flavors just like the boxed instant oatmeals, but when you add your own wholesome ingredients, it’s so much better for you and you know what goes in it is pure. It’s truly one of my favorite breakfasts. My kids LOVE my oatmeal as well. And I know it’s good for them.

oatmeal for kids


I buy my oats in bulk from Honeyville grain. This saves me money but I also love that their food is just pure ingredients. I know they do not have gluten contamination in their oats which is a concern if I have someone over who is gluten intolerant. Also, the shipping is inexpensive. Since I generally purchase 25 or 50 pounds, I want to save as much as possible on shipping. Theirs is a flat rate of $4.99 no matter how heavy your order is. That’s my kind of deal.

To start making my oatmeal, I first put the old fashioned rolled oats in a pan with some water and let it soak over night. Soaking helps the grain be more easily digested and it also helps it cook faster in the morning when I am in a rush to get the kids something great to eat.

homemade flavored oatmeal

kids eating healthy oatmeal

For 6 servings of oatmeal, which feeds me and my 7 kids a toddler portion each, I soak 2 1/4 cups of old fashioned rolled oats in 4 cups of water. When I get up in the morning, I add 1/2 cup of raw sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, and 2 Tablespoons of butter. I turn the burner on high and stir while I bring the mixture to a boil. Once it is boiling rapidly, I turn off the heat, put the lid on the pan, and let it set until breakfast time (about 20 mintues).

You can flavor your oatmeal by using maple syrup in place of the raw sugar, adding fruit or berries while it is cooking, dropping in a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder, or just the peanut butter if you prefer. If you are not allergic to cinnamon like me, you could add a teaspoon of cinnamon to most of those combinations. Use your imagination and you can come up with some delicious combos.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy oatmeal?

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Garden Fresh Pico de Gallo and Heavenly Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Yesterday my childcare organization put on a home daycare tour for providers to share ideas.  They drove in a caravan from childcare home to childcare home and stopped in here to tour the kid’s garden.  It was so much fun!  I whipped up a few goodies for them to snack on when they came and they LOVED them.  So today I’m sharing the recipes for them. These are good any time! The pico is especially delicious when it’s made with garden fresh ingredients. So good!
  the start to some great pico

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Garden Fresh Pico de Gallo
Prep Time
15 mins
 
Fresh Pico made from ingredients from the garden.
Author: Christina Kamp
Ingredients
  • 3 C . Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Diced Onion
  • 1 or 2 Diced Hot Peppers of your choice
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Handful of Fresh Cilantro
Instructions
  1. Dice up tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic as finely as possible. Zest lime over mixture and squeeze juice over. Chop up cilantro and add with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
 This recipe is beautiful and colorful as well as so fresh tasting.  And it smells AMAZING!

 dicing onionsbuilding pico de gallozesting lime

Heavenly Devil's Food Cupcakes
Yields 24
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Ingredients
  1. Heavenly Devil's Food Cupcakes
  2. 2 C. Raw Sugar
  3. 2 C. Flour
  4. 1/2 C. Cocoa Powder
  5. 1 tsp. Salt
  6. 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  7. 1 1/4 C. Milk
  8. 1/2 C. Sour Cream
  9. 1/2 C. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  10. 2 tsp. Vanilla
  11. 2 Eggs
  12. Frosting
  13. 1 Stick Room Temperature Butter
  14. 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
  15. 1 T. Vanilla
  16. 5 C. Powdered Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl dump sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Combine. All at once add milk, sour cream, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix for two minutes. Add eggs and mix 2 minutes more. Pour batter into cupcake papers to 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  3. For Frosting whip butter until light and fluffy. Add cream, vanilla, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat until well mixed. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes when completely cool.
Little Sprouts Learning http://littlesproutslearning.co/
Raw Sugar

Raw Sugar

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil


devil's food batter

cupcake batter

chocolate frosting

yummy frosting

Raw sugar is not as processed as white sugar which gives additional nutrients to the recipe. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and liquid when heated. Extra virgin coconut oil has a slight coconutty flavor which I love in these cupcakes. You can substitute another oil, butter, or shortening for this, but coconut oil is a healthier choice. 

 If you want to check out the daycare home tour, click here.

Delicious Brussels Sprouts

Most of my kids love Brussels sprouts.  My family likes them and they are one of my very favorites.  When I was a kid I hated them, but most people over cook them and that makes them really really not yummy.  When they are lightly cooked and fresh tasting, they are amazing!

We planted some Brussels sprouts in the spring and it took forever for them to produce so we cut them down in the heat of the summer.  Any greens, or cole crops can become bitter when harvested in the heat.  For my Brussels sprouts, a quick blanch was all it took to take the bitterness out of them.  If your sprouts aren’t bitter, no need for that step.

I cut down four stalks of Brussels sprouts.  This is what they looked like piled in a wheel barrow.  Before I started growing them, I never knew how they grew.  I was amazed that the plant was this big!

I cut down four stalks of Brussels sprouts. This is what they looked like piled in a wheel barrow. Before I started growing them, I never knew how they grew. I was amazed that the plant was this big!

 

I cut the leaves off of the stalks.  This is how the little sprouts are growing down in there.  So cute.

I cut the leaves off of the stalks. This is how the little sprouts are growing down in there. So cute.


 

Then I used a sharp knife to cut them off the stalk.

Then I used a sharp knife to cut them off the stalk.

 

I washed the sprouts and prepared a pan of boiling water to blanch them in.  I added salt to the water which also helps remove bitterness from greens.  I blanched them for 3 minutes.

I washed the sprouts and prepared a pan of boiling water to blanch them in. I added salt to the water which also helps remove bitterness from greens. I blanched them for 3 minutes.

 

Then I plunged them into ice water.

Then I plunged them into ice water.

 

Once they had completely cooled in the ice water, I drained them.  They are delicious at this point.  You can make them into a salad or just eat them plain like this.

Once they had completely cooled in the ice water, I drained them. They are delicious at this point. You can make them into a salad or just eat them plain like this.

Next I cut one piece of bacon into small pieces and browned it in the skillet.  I added the Brussels sprouts and sautéed them in the skillet for about 2 minutes until they were just tender, but still bright green.  I use salt and pepper to taste.

sauteeing brussel sprouts

Brussels sprouts are delicious raw, boiled, sautéed, or roasted.  I have never tried them any way I didn’t like them except for over cooked.  I know some pretty picky eaters that enjoyed them with this bacon method.  I cook a lot of vegetables with a piece of bacon for flavor because it helps picky kids take interest in them.  But I cook them for my family and my kids without bacon and they still enjoy them.  Just salt, pepper and olive oil and throw them in the oven until they are lightly brown on the edge, or grate some parmesean cheese over the top as they finish roasting and that is delicious as well.  If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try cooking fresh ones yourself and if you don’t over cook them, I’m willing to bet you will like them too.

Homemade Pesto Sauce (without nuts!)

I am working on harvesting some of our garden surplus like the herbs that we haven’t used up and we had a ton of basil. I harvested two pounds of basil leaves from the walkways in the garden. Man did I smell good! What to do with all this basil? PESTO!

basil

I am allergic to nuts so I wanted to come up with a pesto I could eat too, so I decided to roast up some sunflower seeds to use in place of the pine nuts.  I used 1/4 a cup of seeds and toasted them lightly in a skillet.

I am allergic to nuts and I don’t know if I will react to pine nuts or not so I wanted to come up with a pesto I could eat too, so I decided to roast up some sunflower seeds to use in place of the pine nuts. I used 1/4 a cup of seeds and toasted them lightly in a skillet.

Toss the toasted seeds in the blender with 2 cups of basil leaves and we also added a couple of dried thai peppers for some kick.

Toss the toasted seeds in the blender with 2 cups of basil leaves and we also added a couple of dried thai peppers for some kick.

Add 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese and two cloves of cut up garlic.

Add 1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese and two cloves of cut up garlic.

Blend until smooth.

Blend until smooth adding olive oil until sauce will blend. Approximately 1/4-1/2 cup.

We used some of the pesto as a topping for some cooked pasta and froze the rest in pint sized jars to use later.  It was delicious!

We used some of the pesto as a topping for some cooked pasta and froze the rest in pint sized jars to use later. It was delicious!

The kids loved this pasta and it was super healthy.


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