While searching for pumpkin cookie recipes I came across these Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies by VeryBestBaking.com. They look so yummy, but I wanted to make it a toddler friendly recipe by replacing the eggs with bananas and the butter with coconut oil. Not only does this make the dough edible for little ones, who want to explore with their mouths, but it also makes the cookies healthier!
Did I mention this is the very first time that I have cooked or baked with my kids? They just turned two-years-old.
Toddler Friendly Recipe – Banana Pumpkin Cookies
Excuse the messy table. We use it for arts and crafts as well as for eating so sometimes things get a little messy.
Before I brought the kiddos over to the table to make the cookies with me I decided to prep the different mixing containers for them. Since I replaced the eggs with bananas they would need to be mashed up separately. I also measured out the pumpkin, as well as put the sugar and the flour in two separate bowls. I had the kids help me with all of the other ingredients.
These kids are so used to sensory play that of course they stuck their hands right into the bowls! My son, SD, moved his hands around in the bowl of flour before I could even say a word! Which reminds me, it is definitely a good idea to wash your kids hands before having them cook or bake with you. I know all of the places their hands have been and I definitely don’t want anything getting into food that our family will be eating.
Step 1 – Preheat your oven to 360°.
Step 2 – Measure out the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a large bowl and mix.
SD felt so proud to be able to put the ingredients in on his own! When you let your kids cook with you it is a huge confidence builder! You already know that this was the very first time the kids had helped me cook or bake anything and I was so surprised at how they (mostly) followed directions. I’m not saying they didn’t get messy, but they definitely tried to help to the best of their abilities.
As the kids put in each of the ingredients tell them what they are called. I would say “Okay! Lets put in the cinnamon!” for example. The more they cook the quicker they will pick up on all if these new words!
Step 3 – Mash the bananas. I used a potato masher.
I gave my daughter, SN, the job of mashing the bananas. She absolutely loved this! As she mashed the bananas I told her “mash the bananas!” Cooking is also a great way to build your child’s vocabulary!
And this is the reason why SN loved her job of mashing the bananas. Every once in awhile she would take a lick at the masher for some yummy mushy bananas. Good thing we won’t be handing these cookies out to our friends!
Step 4 – In a separate bowl combine the sugar and coconut oil.
I helped SN to pour the coconut oil into the sugar but for some reason she wasn’t really happy about this and would rather continue to mash the bananas. So I allowed SD to take over.
Step 5 – combine the bananas and the pumpkin into the sugar and coconut oil mixture. Mix until it is all incorporated.
Both the kids and I mixed the contents with our spoons. At this point the kids were experimenting with taking out spoonfuls of the mixture. I tried my best to explain to them that it all needs to stay inside of the bowl. I think with time they will start to understand this concept better. This was the very first time they’ve baked after all!
Baking is great for building fine and gross motor skills! You know how hard it can get to mix cookie dough with just a spoon, imagine how their little muscles are working!
Step 6 – Slowly add the banana pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and mix together until everything is incorporated.
For us this happened spoonful by spoonful. Both kids slowly picked up some banana pumpkin mix with their little spoons and transferred it over to the flour mixture, over and over again. Eventually I picked up the bowl and they both helped me scrape out the rest of the mixture.
I helped them to finish up the mixing while saying “mix mix mix!”. Cooking is great for teaching new action words!
Step 7 – Use a large spoon to place the dough onto a un-greased cookie sheet. I fit about 15 onto one cookie sheet. The recipe makes about 30 cookies.
Because I used bananas and coconut oil in replace of eggs and butter, the mixture was quite sticky and runny. It was really nothing like regular cookie dough. I was very worried about how messy it would get to let the kids put the dough on the cookie sheet themselves. So I planned to do this step on my own. Well they had other plans and I am glad that they were so adamant about doing it themselves!
One at a time I helped the kids scoop out some dough and I used my freshly washed finger to push the dough onto the cookie sheet. In order to keep things sane I only let them do this one kid at a time.
Step 8 – Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven and let them bake for about 14 minutes.
SD and SN were so proud of themselves for making their own fluffy Banana Pumpkin Cookies! They were definitely a hit in our family. My husband keeps telling me that they’re like mini banana and pumpkin bread bites. They really are delicious and they aren’t too bad for you either!
Banana Pumpkin Cookies – Nutrition Facts
Serving size 1 cookie
|Total Fat 3.8g||5%||Vitamin A||20.1%|
|Saturated Fat 3.2g||16%||Calcium||1.3%|
|Trans Fat 0g||Vitamin B6||2.5%|
|Polysaturated Fat 0.1g||Vitamin C||1.4%|
|Monounsaturated Fat .2g||Iron||1.4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 20.5g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.9g||4%|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
If you’re looking for more toddler friendly recipes or tips of how to work with kids in the kitchen check out the links below!
Thumbprint Cookies by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
How to Involve Kids with Cooking by Happiness is Homemade
Building Language in the Kitchen by Two-Daloo
5 Ways Toddlers Can Learn, Play and Help in the Kitchen by Kid’s Play Space
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