“I WANNA DO IT MYSELF!!!!!” doesn’t often end well in kid world.
This can be especially true in the kitchen.
Bananas, wonderful bananas make it possible for kids to “Do It Myself” in the kitchen.
Ready? Let’s do this!
10 Yummy Ways to Encourage Kids in the Kitchen With Bananas
1. Make Baby Food
Our youngest, little Guppy is turning 6 months old soon and bananas will be one of his very first foods. So, we are putting the big siblings (Ladybug – 3 years old and Owl – 2 years old) to work mushing bananas with a fork to make baby food. You can do the same. Just give your big kids a fork and let them pulverize that banana into mush that their younger sibling can enjoy. If you are feeling super adventurous let them add a little smooched avocado or if the baby is a little older some ground cherries to the mixture. Yum!
2. Create Toppings
Bananas are the perfect food to practice using a knife. They are long and firm enough to hold onto, but soft enough to cut easily with a butter knife. I do recommend using a real butter knife. We’ve had trouble using plastic knives that many parents suggest because my kids push down too hard when they first start and they break. We have a whole collection of broken plastic knives in the playdough drawer – an excellent use for them if your kid does manage to snap one in the kitchen. Lots of foods are yummy with bananas on top. We are fans of letting the kids slice banana toppings for oatmeal, chocolate pudding, and fruit salads. Yum!
3. Create Designs
There are a ton of different ways to incorporate bananas into themed designs. Food is a very safe art medium for little hands. I like to use fruits and vegetables as a fun way for kids to create edible art during play dates. Here’s a simple kid made banana butterfly made using bananas, pretzels, chocolate pudding, and raisins. Tip: We put the chocolate pudding in a bag and cut the corner edge, so they could squeeze it out carefully. One of the three designs did actually kind of look like a butterfly 🙂
4. Add Sprinkles To Bananas Sandwiched In Vanilla Wafers
Slice bananas. Place the slices between two vanilla wafers like a sandwich. Roll the cookie sandwich into a bowl of sprinkles.
Tip: You have to get the banana edge protruding out of from the edges of the cookie to be sticky.
- Cut or scar the edges of the banana,
- squeeze the banana until it’s gooey,
- or add some peanut butter to the outside of the banana.
We went for squishing the banana, because I wasn’t up for cleaning up peanut butter that day.
5. Wrap Up A Banana and Nutella Burrito
Ladybug is a huge fan of nutella. She also loves the privilege of being allowed to use the knife. So, we let her spread nutella onto a tortilla wrap and and added a banana. Because she wanted to she also used the knife to slice the finished product into slices. That gets messy, but she was determined to use the knife. If you are planning to serve this to anyone outside of immediate family, I recommend leaving it intact as a burrito wrap 🙂
6. Spread Peanut Butter On A Banana Hot Dog
My Mom apparently ate this little snack all the time after school. Just spread some peanut butter on a hot dog bun. Add the banana and done. Instant snack. Yum!
Tip: I have Ladybug use a spoon to spread the peanut butter when she makes this snack, because she still puts too much force behind her knife and ends up tearing the bread.
7. Make Yummy Hot Bananas
Yummy Hot Bananas is one of the our newest discoveries from these kids’ kitchen cards. We are having a ton of fun working our way through them. Imagine our delight when we realized several of the fantastic fruit cards called for bananas.
To make yummy hot bananas you’ll need:
- four bananas in peel
- two tablespoons of light brown sugar
- dash of cinnamon
- aluminum foil
- oven preheated to 400 degrees
Peel back the peel from the banana without removing it.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over top of the banana inside the peel
Close it up and wrap it in aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Yum!
8. Add Bananas to Jello
Make jello – a kid favorite, but let them help and add some bananas!
Shake the jello out of the bag into a nice big bowl.
Cut bananas into tiny pieces.
After Grandma combines the boiling hot water and jello mix together, add the ice water.
Then put the whole mixture into one big bowl or several small bowls to be refrigerated. Small cups work well for little hands transferring the mixture into the bowl.
9. Freeze Bananas Covered In Melted Chocolate Topped With Pretzel Pieces
This fun project can take some more hands on time, but Ladybug says it’s worth it, because CHOCOLATE!
Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave – go slow (10-15 seconds at 50% pour, stopping to stir).
The best solution we found for getting the chocolate onto the banana was using two spoons at once. You can also try a tooth pick in the banana and putting it on the chocolate or squeezing the chocolate out of a pastry bag. You do have to work fast or the chocolate will start to solidify again and need to be reheated; however, this is not the end of the world, just stick it back in the microwave. We did – a couple times!
If so inspired, crush up some pretzels in a closed plastic bag and then sprinkle on top of the chocolate – if you can get it on there before the chocolate hardens all the better! Otherwise, just eat the pretzel pieces and put the bananas in the freezer.
10. Bake Banana Oatmeal Cookies – A Fantastic First Baking Experience
When you’re kids are ready to bake – mine think they are everyday 🙂 I highly recommend this recipe for banana oatmeal cookies. The ingredients are safe, the kids can be very involved with the entire process, and the end result is delicious! This is one of our favorite kid friendly recipes.
The Simplest of All
Peel and Eat
Raw fruits and vegetables are wonderful just the way they are and sometimes there’s nothing wrong with making off with the ingredients 🙂 A plain banana is Owl’s favorite treat!
Having fun with our kids in the kitchen is awesome, but we still have to remember they are kids.
Their favorite part of cooking with you will be something you never thought of because it’s a chance to
“Do It Myself!”
Banana Day is April 20th! (seriously, it’s a holiday)
Celebrate by making one of these banana creations or come up with one of your own!
Here are a few more wonderful ways to celebrate banana day from some friends!