Monday, March 9, 2009

Munchie Monday A is for Animal Cracker - Red Day

This blog is slowly evolving. It was originally just a connection between my grandson and I, a way to journal our home school journey together, but the more I read other blogs the more I want to be a part of this community and share what I have learned and am still learning about children. I am not sure how well I will be able to keep up with this, but for now it is exciting and I look forward to each entry. For me it is a reconnection and a validation with who I am and who I would like to be.
To do this I found that I would like to organize my blog a little more efficiently by attributing themes to each day of the week that I blog. Each day will also have its own colour.
Today is a RED day.
I think that is a good choice for a Mon.
Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting.
What a great colour to begin the week with!

How the color red affects us mentally and physically
* Increases enthusiasm
* Stimulates energy
* Encourages action and confidence
* A sense of protection from fears and anxiety

Let's start the week off with a Healthy Delicious Snack that is also a great interactive between parent and child.
Let your little one do as much of the work as he or she is capable of. Remember that the more they do for themselves the more they will learn. This includes clean as you go and final clean up. Children are actually much more capable than we give them credit for.
One of my grand children is being raised the Montessori way and has been able to make sandwiches and other small meals on his own since he was 4 or 5. He has his own shelf in the kitchen where his dishes and kitchen tools are as well as his own child size pitcher of milk in the fridge. I have watched him make the meal and clean up the mess in amazement. He actually has turned down my offers of help saying no I can do it.
The recipes I will be sharing will be from the "Kinder-Krunchies Healthy Snack Recipes for Children" book that I have had forever. It was written by Karen Jenkins.
There are enough recipes in it to share with this blog for at least a year.
Karen's aim in the book was:
1. to help children learn basic concepts of good nutrition as well as to help them enjoy prepaing the food.
2. to help children develop "readiness skills", such as vocabulary and language development, understanding of numbers and letters as well as small muscle coordination.

When aiding your child in food preparation she emphasizes the need to:
1. always use correct terminology for the food, equipment and processes being used.
2. to be sensitive to your childs needs and interests so as to not overwhelm them with questions.
rather pick up cues from their talk.

For practice you could allow your child to measure and pour both liquids (water in the sink, bath or outside tub) and solids (sand, rice or cornmeal) using nesting measuring cups, graduated measuring spoons, and miscellaneous containers. This will also improve their small muscle control as well as help them in their understanding of volume.
Your can tell your child that Healthy food makes your body and mind healthier, so you have more energy to enjoy learning and playing!

Parents please use caution whenever sharp objects like knives or toothpicks are used. Please advise your child of the inherent danger and that these items should not go near their mouths or their eyes.

To begin:
1. read the recipe together
2. talk about what your are doing, the food, the equipment, the letters, the numbers.
3. encourage lots of counting and let your child do as much of the measuring as possible.
Animal Crackers


½ c Oatmeal
2 tsp Honey
¼ - 1/8 tsp Salt
¾ c Flour
¼ t Baking soda
¼ c Butter
4 Tbsp Buttermilk


1/4 c measuring cup
1/2 c measuring cup
3/4 c measuring cup
1/8 tsp measuring spoon
¼ teaspoon measuring spoon
1 teaspoon measuring spoon
1 Tablespoon measuring spoon

Grind 1/2 c oatmeal in blender until fine, add 2 tsp honey, 1/4 - 1/8 tsp salt, 3/4 c flour,
1/4 t baking soda. Cut in 1/4 c butter, add 4 Tbsp buttermilk.
Roll very thin. Cut with animal cookie cutters.
Bake at 400 degrees until brown. (approximately 10-12 min.)

What do you think?
1. Taste the oatmeal. Taste some oat flour.
2.Describe what happens.
3.Taste the buttermilk.
4.What is buttermilk?
5.Bake the leftover pieces
6.What do these interesting shapes remind you of?

Try this:
1.Make up a story about the animal crackers you made.
2.Make one cracker in the shape of an A a.

Hope you find this interesting, nest week we will have a recipe for Banana Bread!
If you send a picture of you and your child making this recipe I will post it.
Thank you, Kathleen

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