Cooking With Kids: No Bake Fig and Banana Granola Bites
Encouraging Speech & Creating Yum! No Bake Fig and Banana Granola Bites
Are you a fig lover? Me too! I decided to try making them into granola bites for a healthy snack. There is sweetness from the fig and banana which makes them “naturally” sweet. Don’t have any figs? Make these into Banana Bites instead by adding an extra banana with no figs. This recipe is easily done with just your food processor and a bowl. Since there are no raw ingredients in the recipe, feel free to have your child taste the batter along the way!
- 4-5 fresh figs
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 tablespoon of a nut butter (I used almond butter)
- 1.5 cups of quick cooking oats
- 1 cup of crisp cereal (I used Rice Krispies)
- 1/2 cup of wheat germ
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of raisins or 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
Adult/Child: In a small food processor or blender pulse the banana and figs. Add the nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract and continue to puree or pulse until you get to your desired texture. I happen to like the mixture slightly on the chunky side.
Adult/Child: In a separate bowl, combine the oats, crisp cereal, wheat germ and cinnamon. Add the fig/banana mixture to the bowl and combine until you get a cookie like batter (very thick batter). If your batter is too thin, add more oats or cereal. You want your batter to be thick. You want the texture like a soft granola bar.
Child: Fold in your raisins or chocolate chips.
Adult/Child: With a tablespoon or your hands (best tool!) make small “balls” that are bite size. When you are done put all of your bite size granola bites on a plate lined with wax paper. Put the granola bites in the fridge overnight. These are best kept in the fridge.
Tip: For extra crunchiness and texture, roll the granola bites in the crisp cereal!
Eat! Talk! Enjoy!
Language Time Tips:
1. Build vocabulary: Use nouns and actions. Nouns: oats, cereal, banana, fig, almond butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, wheat germ, raisins, bowl. Actions: cut, chop, puree, mash, mix, add, pour, taste, measure.
2. Colors and Size: With this recipe, focus on the various colors of the different ingredients. Discuss the different shades of brown and how the food gets this way. For example, discuss how maple syrup is made and how it gets to be that magnificent brown color. Discuss the different colors of the fig. The fig is brown on the outside but white and pink inside. Compare the various size of figs. Which is smaller, the fig or raisin? Are we using more oats or more crisp cereal?
3. Comment and Describe: Encourage words such as dry, wet, sweet, thick, crunchy, moist, etc… Help facilitate comments such as “the cereal is crispy, the bites are moist, the batter gets thicker when you add the dry ingredients”. Encourage more specific vocabulary that describes the food in detail.
4. Sequencing and recalling information: Follow the sequence of the recipe and emphasize the importance of measuring. If you want to give your child the opportunity for problem solving, add too little of the ingredients and ask your child “What does it taste like?” or “What do we need to add more of?”. This recipe is forgiving, so the sequence of steps can be flexible.
5. Answering and asking “wh” questions: Sample “wh” questions include: “What are we making?”; “What makes the granola bites sweet?”; “What does the cinnamon smell like?”; “where and how are raisins made?”. Encourage your child to ask questions. If your child has difficulty with this, have a list of questions written down, or in picture form, to help facilitate asking questions.
Literacy: Help build your child’s literacy skills by encouraging him or her to read the recipe and/or write the steps to the recipe. Encourage reading sight words and highlight the key words in the recipe that you would like your child to learn (see vocabulary list plus action list above).
Becca Eisenberg is a mother of two young children and a speech-language pathologist, author, and instructor. Her website, https://languageduringmealtime.com/ encourages learning time during mealtime. On her website, she writes children’s book recommendations, app recommendations, as well as child-friendly recipes with language tips for their family.