Easter treats to cook with children

-Apr 15, Caroline Blight, Nutrition -

The perfect way to spend your Easter holidays before the big long weekend arrives!

It’s Easter time which sends a shudder down the spine of any parent who is trying to keep their child’s sugar consumption to sensible limits! But while the candy may be all too present there, are lots of ways to bring Easter vibes to the kitchen without involving chocolate which get your kids cooking with you too. Why not try these ideas and recipes with your little ones this holidays for treats they will love and which you will be happy for them to tuck into!

Easy ideas for Easter themed foods

There are lots of simple ways to make your usual meals a little more seasonal. Why not try these to bring some Easter cheer to the table?

  • Use Easter cutters to cut sandwiches into seasonal shapes. You can also use larger cutters as a mold for American style pancakes when cooking them or when frying an egg.
  • Place hummus in small plant pots with a few mini carrots in them so they look like a little veggie patch.
  • Make a giant fruit platter for breakfast and arrange the fruit in colours to look like a bunny head, little chick or decorated Easter egg! 

MORE: Dinner inspiration – five-minute salmon recipe

Hot Cross Cookies

Coconut sugar has a lower GI level than refined sugar while still being sweet. The addition of some wholemeal flour means they are more nutritious and again lowers the GI level of the biscuits. 

These cookies are great for a change from the traditional buns and easy and fun for children to make as they can use their hands to roll the cookie balls and have a go at piping the crosses too.

Ingredients:

200g softened butter

100g coconut sugar

1 egg

150g plain flour

100g wholemeal plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

50g raisins

50g sultanas

30g mixed peel

100g white chocolate 

Method:

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line baking trays.

Beat together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth. In another bowl combine the flours, cinnamon and baking powder.

 Add to the butter mix to make a dough. Squish in the dried fruit. 

Take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls – they should be about the size of a golf ball. Place on the tray and lightly flatten with the ball of your hand. They will expand a little while cooking so don’t place them too close to each other.

Bake for 10mins until they are golden on top.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave on in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Using a piping bag pipe the chocolate over the top of the cooled cookie in a cross shape.

Allow the chocolate to set before serving.

MORE: Nadiya Hussain on cooking with her children

Easter Bunny Rolls

Most children are fans of pesto and this gives these rolls a light tang which is a delicious accompaniment to most fillings. Making bread dough is a great activity for children as they love getting their hands in and playing with the dough while kneading – they have more patience with the kneading process than most adults! If you prefer you can make the dough initially with a dough hook on a mixer. Serve these warm with soup (perhaps a carrot soup!) for a quick and easy lunch with added fun.

Ingredients:

250g strong white bread flour 

20g butter, softened 

7g (1 sachet) dried, fast acting yeast 

1½ tsp sugar 

1 tsp salt 

2 tsp green pesto

150ml warm water 

Method:

Combine the flour and butter with your fingertips to make a fine breadcrumb like consistency. 

Add the yeast, sugar and salt and combine well.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the water and pesto. Using a knife gradually incorporate the flour mix from the sides until you have a ball of dough. You may have to use your hands to add in the last few bits.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured worktop. Kneed for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. It should spring back when you press your finger into it.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave it in a warm place until it’s doubled in size – around an hour is probably about right.

Why not try making your own healthy cacao Easter eggs? Hours of fun and you won’t have to worry about extra sugar

Take the dough out of the bowl and back on a floured work top and kneed for a minute. Divide into 10 pieces. 

To create the bunnies simply take on your piece a small bit of dough and make into a ball which will be the tail. Now roll a sausage shape which is around 30cm long from the remaining dough. Fold in half (but don’t push together) and twist the dough around 3cm down from the loose ends together – the 2 ends are your ears so seperate.

Squish together the dough under the twist to make a body then attach your extra piece of tail dough with a little water. Repeat with the other pieces.

Place the finished rabbits on an oiled baking tray and over with oiled cling film. Leave to rise for 30-40 minutes – you will see the bunny shape become more defined. 

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.

When the bunnies are risen remove the cling film and cook in the oven for 15mins. 

Placed the cooked rolls on a wire rack to cool.

If you’re looking for some other simple recipes why not try Meghan Markle’s favourite easy pasta dish and this organic banana coconut soup might sound strange but is absolutely delicious.

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