Cooking with Kids: Campfire Banana Boats at Home
Encouraging Speech & Creating Yum! Campfire banana boats at Home
Campfires always remind me of summer camp and retreats with family and friends. I can just smell the campfire now and one of my favorite memories is campfire bananas. It was dark at night, and we were all singing songs around a campfire when the camp counselor handed me a tinfoil pouch that was ooey, gooey delicious. I did not know it was a banana at the time because I usually only had roasted marshmallows at campfires before. I tried to re-create that wonderful taste and feel for my daughter, so we made Campfire Banana Boats. They are easy to make and eat and the best part is that we don’t have to smell like the smoke from a campfire.
Banana Boats Ingredients
- Bananas, ripe
- Brown sugar
- Chocolate chips
- Mini Marshmallows
- Chopped pistachios
- Crumbled Graham Crackers
- Tin foil
Banana Boats Prep and Cooking Directions:
Adult: Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Adult/Child: Slice bananas down the center lengthwise through the peel, but do not cut all the way through.
Adult/Child: Wrap and make individual boats for each banana from tinfoil about 8-by-10-inch squares.
Adult/Child: Load each banana with a pat of butter, sprinkling of brown sugar, mini chocolate chips, marshmallows and graham cracker crumbles. Note: we crumbled our graham crackers in a sealed plastic sandwich bag first.
We did not seal our tinfoil boats. We placed on a rimmed, glass, baking dish. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until chocolate and marshmallow has melted and the bananas are softened. We waited until our banana peels turned black.
Adult: Remove from the oven, place on a plate or bowl, grab a spoon and enjoy!
Eat! Talk! Enjoy!
Language Time Tips:
1. Build vocabulary: Use nouns and actions. Nouns: banana, butter, graham cracker, chocolate chips, foil, sugar, marshmallows, pistachios. Actions: peel, cut, slice, add, heat, bake, wrap, and eat.
2. Colors and Size: With this recipe, focus on the various colors of the different ingredients. This recipe has tons of bright colors from the ingredients. Use contrasting colors such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Talk about how they are same and different. What is larger, a strawberry or a blueberry? What color do you make when you puree the blue and red together?
3. Comment and Describe: Encourage words such as crunchy, soft, gooey, hot, mushy, and sweet. Help facilitate comments such as “The banana boat is gooey and warm when I eat it”. Encourage more specific vocabulary that describes the food in detail before and after baking it.
4. Sequencing and recalling information: Follow the sequence of the recipe and emphasize the steps of slicing the banana, adding the ingredients and then baking it. Would you put the aluminum foil on before or after adding the ingredients? Why?
5. Answering and asking “wh” questions: Sample “wh” questions include: “What do we do first?” “What ingredients do we need?” “What ingredient makes the banana boats crunchy?” “What happens if we used plastic wrap instead of aluminum foil?” All of these questions target comprehension as well as problem solving.
Literacy: Focus on the beginning letter/sound of each ingredient (“b” for banana, “ch” for chocolate chips, “p” pistachios, etc.) This can help build phonemic awareness.
Books recommended: The Monkey Balloon by Rebecca Eisenberg and Mindy Winebrenner, Suryia and Roscoe, and Who Took My Banana? By Sally Huss
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This post originally appeared on our May/June 2016 Magazine