Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Pfeffernusse: "pepper nuts"

Dunk these hard cookies in tea or hot chocolate for a traditional German Christmas treat!
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest
1/2 cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pepper.
In a large bowl combine butter and brown sugar. Beat on medium speed until well blended.
Add honey, egg yolk, and zest. Mix until blended.
Place balls of dough on cookie sheet. Press gently to flatten slightly.
Bake until edges are light brown - about 14 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
Source: Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge

Gingerbread Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg

Mix flour and salt and cream of tartar in a bowl. Add spices until it smells good. Add boiling water (or hot coffee), and oil. Mix and knead with hands to form a soft dough.
Add rolling pins, cookie cutters and colored play dough to decorate each cookie with.
Have fun!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Food Fears

Children need to be exposed to new foods 10-15 times before they will stop fearing it and start eating it. Decrease a child's food fears by creating a supportive and enjoyable eating environment. Having and enjoyable experiences with food will highly influence a child's choice to eat the food - or not.

1.Provide fun learning experiences with food by baking, cooking, making smooothies, and washing and cutting up fruit or vegetables together. Children are able to help set the table and put own dishes in the sink or dishwasher.

2.Sit down to eat with the child to model good habits. Show children you value what the food has to offer by modeling an openness to trying new foods, talk about how good it tastes ( describe colors, tastes, and textures such as crunchy,and stringy). Use dips and sauces to enhance flavour. Allow children to help themselves to a platter of food. Teach table manners in a fun way.

3. Restrict foods like cookies, potato chips, hotdogs, macaroni and cheese.

4. Ask families to bring a food item to taste - maybe from another culture.

Avoid a power struggle! Never pressure a child to eat. Pushing a spoon away, turning the head, spitting food out, holding food in cheeks is a clear communication to stop. This will cause total refusal to eat.

Early childhood (2 - 5 years) is the time to introduce new foods because the variety of foods they will accept is greatest during this time period than later in childhood.