When baking cookies with my mom as a kid, I used to love to lick the batter off the spoon. I enjoyed that raw batter possibly even more than eating the finished product. Concern of exposing my kids to Salmonella from raw eggs has pretty much squelched that fabulous experience for my kids. This Banana Oatmeal Cookie recipe with no raw eggs and no added sugar lets raw batter reign again!
These cookies are the first baking experience my kids get in the kitchen. The ingredients are all low risk and extremely unlikely to make them sick or burn their eyes if they forget and touch their face while cooking. The kids can do most of the work with the help of an adult. This post does contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links you are supporting Pray Species at no additional cost to you.
We measure all the ingredients first and place them on the counter. This enables us to focus all our attention on appropriate measurements and keeps me from having to run back and forth during the actual mixing process. We measure over the sink to avoid accidental spills of “extra” ingredients into the mixture. The different colored measuring cups and spoons make it easy to communicate with toddlers and pre-readers which cup or spoon is the right size. We have found them to be an excellent learning tool and the kids often do some free play with filling and emptying them with water during clean up. We found these brightly colored measuring cups and spoons at a store in Gatlinburg, TN, but this set from Bekith on Amazon appears to be similar.
The first step is peeling bananas. Kids are often REALLY excited to start helping in the kitchen and this step provides quick and easy engagement. The peeling and mashing of bananas is fun and easy with little consequence if there is a mishap . The amount of hands on time kids can have with the ingredients is one of the best parts of this recipe.
Since all the ingredients are measured before the mixing starts, supervising the kids putting them into the bowl is simple. She’s standing on a “kitchen helper,” which lets her be at counter height while she cooks. There are a ton of kitchen helpers or learning towers available. We ordered one built by Guidecraft. It does fold up when not in use and we use it all the time. When it first arrived the screws kept popping out and my husband actually used wood glue to permanently affix them, but now it works great. We haven’t been able to find a better alternative that still folds up for storage, which is a must for us. Of course my Mom keeps explaining we could just use a chair, but the kids get so excited about what they are doing I worry about them falling backyards onto our tile floor.
We make it a point to explore the ingredients before and after we cook. The smell of vanilla is always of interest.
I do use a Kitchen-aid Stand mixer, which the kids love being able to watch and use with supervision. If you’re going to be doing a lot of baking, especially with kids it’s a ton easier to manage than a hand mixer.
Even our youngest gets into the process. Those banana peels aren’t going to throw themselves away. Learning to put things in the trash, close the lid, and walk away is one of our very first kitchen lessons. Of course we then spend lots of time explaining all the different things that don’t go into the trash. Seriously, we lost one of the three kings from our nativity set this way. The trashcan in this picture was a nightmare. We replaced it with a trashcan by simplehuman and life has gotten much better. It’s marketed for use in a house with pets, but works great for kids too! The lock on it is easy for adults to bypass and keeps our toddler out of the trash. The locking mechanism is just complicated enough to keep them out of the can until they are able to discern what is trash and what is not.
Of course, the best part about making these simple cookies with the kids is getting to enjoy them. No cookie is 100% healthy or I wouldn’t call it a cookie, but these are pretty close. They are certainly a much better alternative to the processed cookies so readily available in our grocery stores. We love them. The kids love them. We hope you love them too!
Special thanks to my Mom and kids for being the stars of this post!
Ladybug is 2 years old in these pictures and Owl is barely one year old (January 2015).
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- 3 mashed, ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup apple sauce
- 2 cups oats
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)***
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
*** you can also substitute dried blueberries or cranberries, but we like raisins best
- Peel and mash three ripe bananas in large mixing bowl.
- Add apple sauce, oats, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Mix well.
- Stir in raisins and walnuts if desired.
- Using a spoon or cookie scoop, shape dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
Looking for more recipes and tips for cooking with your kids?