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3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen: Homemade Granola Bars

3 kids, a mom & a kitchen: lemon pound cake

Time for another installment of 3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen! This time around we tackled a recipe that is made every week in our house: granola bars.

cooking with kids: making granola bars

My 2-year-old Owen always helps me make homemade granola bars and it’s a lot of fun. But this week I decided to mix things up a bit. Keep reading to find out what we did differently with our granola bars this week!

  • Why We Chose the Recipe: Homemade Granola Bars 1 of 4
    homemade granola bars

    I make granola bars every week for our family. I usually make them while my two older girls are at school and my 2-year-old Owen always helps out, dumping ingredients in the bowl and stirring. He loves making granola bars and it's always one of the things he tells Dad about after work! I decided this week, however, the granola bar recipe would be a good one for my girls to try without me helping! When the kids have cooked in the past I've always been very involved with the process, but I wanted to experiment and see if they could make a recipe on their own. I picked this particular recipe because they are familiar with it already and I also knew they'd feel a great sense of accomplishment, making one of our family's weekly staple foods.

  • Rankings: Granola Bars Were Mostly a Success 2 of 4
    ranking for cooking granola bars with kids

    First off, everyone in our family loves these granola bars except 6-year-old Anna. None of us can understand why she never wants to eat them. Every other person who has ever tried them loves them, so Anna is an anomaly!

    As for actually cooking the granola bars, when Owen makes them with me it always goes swimmingly! When the girls made them without my assistance, it went mostly swimmingly. There was a fight right at the beginning, during the two minutes that I left the room, of course. I realized quickly that they needed to set up ground rules between them, deciding ahead of time who would do what so that they wouldn't fight. Once that was determined, the fighting magically stopped. I think the recipe was a little difficult for Anna to do on her own, but 9-year-old Cate could handle almost every step. Overall this recipe was a success and I feel like the kids could make them on their own, as long as I was in the room keep an eye on things. And both girls said they had fun doing it!

  • Steps in the Recipe Where Kids Can Get Involved 3 of 4
    kids making homemade granola bars

    When making the granola bars with Mom's help:

    • Like I mentioned, Owen helps me make these every week. From 2 years old on up to middle school, any kid can help with measuring, dumping ingredients in the bowl, and stirring. It's a quick and easy recipe that's always good for cooking with kids.

    When making the granola bars without Mom's help:

    • The girls were able to make almost the entire recipe on their own. They felt incredibly empowered by the fact that I handed them a piece of paper and told them to get to work! When they started out, Anna turned to me and said, "This is SO fun! I can't believe we're making these ourselves!" 
    • I stayed in the kitchen for the entire cooking process, mostly to play referee and to give tips when they needed it. As I mentioned before, once they knew who was doing what, things went pretty smoothly and they didn't bicker nearly as much. For example, they took turns stirring, counting 15 seconds for each stir. 
    • This recipe was mostly plug-n-play for the girls, but I did have to help with pouring the honey into the measuring cup, stirring the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients, and actually forming the granola bars on the tray. Beyond that I resisted all urges to jump in and help. It was tough but I did it! 
    • This recipe is great because it requires a lot of stirring, which we all know kids love to do!
    • Cate is 9 years old, so she was in charge of reading the recipe. It was good practice for her figuring out fractions and also learning where everything was in the kitchen.
    • Cate also took care of everything having to do with the oven turning it on, putting the granola bars in and then taking them out. This was the first time she was given that responsibility and she was very careful and proud of herself. In fact, when she put the bars in the oven, she skipped out of the kitchen afterwards exclaiming, "I am awesome!"
    • Letting the kids take the reins on this recipe did exactly what I wanted it to do it taught them their way around the kitchen and gave them confidence!
  • The Final Product and the Recipe! 4 of 4
    making homemade granola bars with kids

    The granola bars came out great! I had to do the actual cutting at the end since that involved a big serrated knife, but the kids did almost all of the work and were super proud of the final product. Cate even excitedly said this morning, "Are you going to pack the granola bars we made into my lunch today?"

    We used our usual recipe for granola bars, which you can find by clicking here. Also, Cate and I made sure to have wet hands while we formed the bars on the tray Cate thought that was so funny but was also impressed that it worked so well!

Read more from Jane at This Week for DinnerKitchen Tunage and The Spoiler Alert. For more updates, follow Jane on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

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