Saturday, July 31, 2010

Secret of Making Cup Cakes and Teaching Kids

This is the best cup cakes recipe and it is perfect to teach kids - it is simple, quick, easy and very cost effective. This recipe is the best I found and I did not not get it off the net! I added something extra to the recipe to make it extra special. And the best part is my kids were independent – all I had to do was to turn on and off the oven.

This recipe is excellent for children above 9 years old. My 5 year old joined in. He was given tasks that he could handle and everyone had quite a bit of fun!

Shopping Cart for the Cup Cake Recipe

Makes about 6 to 7 cupcakes

For the cup cake

100 grams of caster sugar (you can reduce it a little if you don’t like your cakes too sweet)
100 grams of very soft butter (use good quality butter – it helps with the softness and moisture)
100 grams self raising flour
2 eggs

For the icing

200 grams soft butter
200 grams icing sugar (you can reduce it a bit if you don’t like too sweet icing)
Colourings, sprinkles, nuts and whatever your kids fancy

Firstly, to help your kids with reading the recipes, print or write it on a piece of paper in big letters:

1 Ask a grown up to turn on the oven to 180°C.

2 Get a big bowl – stainless steel is best

Weigh the sugar and place in the bowl. Your kids will learn how to weigh and how to read the weighing machine

Weigh the butter and mix it into the bowl.

Kids, you can mix and beat the mixture. It is a great to enhance your motor skills.

Secret Number 1 is to use a beater. It will let the mixture be even and soft. The longer the better.

Get a grown up to help you.

Sift in the flour. Weigh it carefully

Secret 2: I added some baking soda (half a teaspoon)

  Break the eggs into a separate bowl. Don’t forget to spoon out bits of shells.

Add to the batter.

Add the vanilla essence

4 Use a spoon and place it in paper cases.
Add batter to into the paper case and the cake bowls

Ask a grown up to place in the oven for 20 minutes

Making the icing.
5 While the cupcakes are baking, make some creamy icing

Mix the butter and cream it with the icing sugar.

Add colouring as you like. My boys love orange.

Use an icing bag or simply role some of the icing onto some paper shaped like a ice cream cone.

6 Let the cakes cool properly .

Pipe the icing onto each cake and decorate as your like.


Your kids learn tones from this simple recipe. Prepare the shopping list. As you can see this cup cake recipe does not cost much and easy to do. Splendid for dessert and for guests.

Your kids are reading, weighing, estimating, and bonding.

Does wonders to the self esteem and confidence .

This entry has links to where you can get some of the things such as ovens and other baking stuff.

And yes Secret Number 3 as to why it is the best cup cake recipe ever is because your kids made it!

Happy Cooking and Teaching

Oster 2534 Inspire Handheld Mixer with Bonus AttachmentsFarberware Nonstick Bakeware 12-Cup Muffin PanSecura Halogen Infrared Turbo Oven Pro, 2010 Delux Package w/Extender Ring;Tong;Cook Racks 777MH500 pcs - Reynolds White Paper Cupcake LinersTag Party 3-Tier Cupcake Design, Silver with Swirl Design, 20" TallWilton Disposable 12 Inch Decorating Bags, Pack Of 24

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How Do You Teach Cooking to Children Who Can't Read Yet

How do get your child who is not old enough to read or is learning to read to follow a recipe? There are ways to teach your child cooking and at the same time learn to pick up words. Remember, you can use cooking activities to help your children to read and cook at the same time.

If your kids are not old enough to read, there are limited options on what you can make them create in the kitchen. They should not be cooking on the stove, using knifes or kitchen appliances without your close supervision.

How do you then get them to follow a recipe?

Chicken Soup for the Soul Kids in the Kitchen: Tasty Recipes and Fun Activities for Budding Chefs1.    Print the recipe - simple recipes which your kids will enjoy making

2.    Place the recipe in a binder so that both your child knows he is building a recipe book

3.    Cut out pictures from magazines or the get them from the internet

4.    Take actual pictures

5.     Stick the pictures on the recipe book

Happy Cooking and Teaching!

As always, a little tip. This book received good reviews.

Smart Kids UK CBTBR1 Teaching the Brain to Read

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Reflux in Children

Reflux is when food backs up after a meal. Bringing up food is common in babies and young children. It usually doesn't cause problems and most children grow out of it. But if it happens frequently or causes problems, they may need treatment. And whether it is serious or not, there are some steps which can help with treating reflux in children.

The doctor said that my son could have reflux. I decided to do some research on it and found that it can be common condition. Also, a lot can be done through good diet.

What is reflux in children?

Reflux happens when partly digested food comes up the tube that links the mouth to the stomach (the esophagus).

Reflux happens because a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus does not work properly. This muscle is supposed to stops food from coming back up.
Reflux 101: A Parent's Guide to Gastroesophageal Reflux
When food goes up into the esophagus, it's often mixed with acidic stomach juices.

This can make the esophagus sore and inflamed.

Doctors may call it gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GORD.

What are the symptoms?

Most babies and children don’t even realize they have reflux.

There are 2 things that could happen:

- the stomach contents remain in the esophagus and damage the esophageal lining.
- Or the stomach contents go up to the mouth and are swallowed again.

When this happens, the child could show the following symptoms

• Hoarse voice
• recurrent pneumonia
• wheezing
• difficult or painful swallowing
• vomiting
• sore throat
• weight loss
• heartburn (in older children)
• stomach pain
• irritable

Talk to your doctor if your child brings up vomit that looks like coffee grounds. This can be a sign that their stomach or esophagus is bleeding.

What treatments work?

Treatment for reflux depends on the child’s symptoms and age. There are drugs to treat reflux.

Besides using medication, you may be able to reduce symptoms other ways.

• Eat more frequent smaller meals.
• Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bed.
• Raise the head of your child’s bed 6 to 8 inches
• Through Diet.

In rare case surgery may work.

Of course, with kids, always talk to your doctor.

Diet for Kids with Reflux

Foods to Avoid

With reflux situations, you need to remind yourself that acidic foods make it worse. Avoid:

- Caffeinated beverages such as sodas and teas should be avoided or drunk in moderation.
- Tomato based products,
- Citrus food,
- Chocolate,
- Fried foods and high fat foods
- Spicy food

But whatever the food, watch your child carefully to see if he has any symptoms after eating these foods. If he does, try to leave them completely from his diet or only allow them in moderation or special occasions.

Foods to Eat

What do we give our kids who have reflux?

- Whole grains
- breads,
- rice,
- oatmeal,
- cheeses,
- baked potatoes,
- steamed vegetables,
- pears, apples, bananas,
- baked chicken and other lean meats.

Notice if you child’s acid reflux is triggered by milk or dairy products, try soy milk and replace other dairy products with alternatives.

When to Eat

Eat several small meals instead of three large ones throughout the day.

This can cut down on the amount of stomach acid that they are producing and reduce reflux symptoms.

If you are interested this book on reflux could help understand the issue better.

Cooking at home and teaching kids about cooking and eating properly will no doubt help him earlier on.  Get your kids into kitchen and teach them of what is good for them and what would make them comfortable.

Happy Cooking and Teaching!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Freezing and Boiling Points? What has the Kitchen Got to Do with It?

If substance A has a freezing point of 20° and boiling point of 120°, what is its state at 85°? The kitchen has the answer!

Children learn about freezing and boiling points from different perspectives as they progress:

Hot and cold


Different states of matter

What are freezing and boiling points?

What is the state of matter at these points?

What happens to the molecules?

Children sometimes cannot imagine how this can happen.

The best and easiest is of course to boil some ice!

Place some ice – freezing point is 0°

Explain that how bringing the ice out of the freezer slowly turns it into liquid or water, for easier understanding

Next is give it some heat and see what happens.

The ice turns to water and then stim

We can explain that different matters have different boiling and freezing points.

Happy Cooking and Happy Teaching!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Why do plants wilt? A science lesson in the kitchen

How do we teach kids science issues related to plants such as evaporation, osmosis, cells and absorption?

The kitchen provides a great opportunity to teach our kids about plants, their need for water and bringing them back to live within a few minutes. Did you know that the wilted vegetables from your refrigerator offers tremendous amount of teaching lessons?

I did not think about it too much until I saw some wilted leave vegetables in my refrigerator.

I told my kids I will show them some magic.

I said that I would magically make the vegetable come to live!

Make your kids place the vegetables in a bowl of water.

Walla! After just a few minutes, the leaves have regained their freshness

What happened?

The way you explain to your kids depends on your kids’ ages, understanding and keenness. Apply your best judgment in explaining. I personally think, we should not transform it into a classroom type scenario. It would not work in getting their interest. The explanation needs to stick in their minds.
Roselle Crafty Science Printed Educational Construction Paper, "Plant and Butterfly Life Cycles" Pad, 12 x 18 Inches, Assorted, 60 Count (02822-8)
You may wish to use these explanations:

Plants lose water through evaporation – like how we sweat. Can you see the sweat when you play?

Plants are made of cells – just like how we build a building with bricks. There is water in the cells, which is lost through evaporation. Evaporation is where water is lost into the air. It leaves the plant.

The water will not be replaced if you don’t give your plant or vegetables water.

They will start to lose their shape and strength and become floopy.

Water your plant or keep your vegetable in water for a while, and it will regain its shape.
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization
Plants takes in water by a process called osmosis. (Figure out something funny for them to remember the word – particularly for the older kids)

This is why a wilted plant or even a wilted stalk of celery will become firm again if given water.

Water is the most essential thing for life.
What If: Mind-Boggling Science Questions for Kids

Parents, I hope this little tip will help you.

Happy cooking and teaching!