How to Incorporate Your Kids into Cooking + Flourless Banana Pancakes

My daughter has an obsession with play kitchens. At daycare, there are 2 play kitchens that she apparently plays with all day long. At my parents house, she has an Elmo's Restaurant that occupies her for hours. For Christmas, Santa brought her a beautiful kitchen with pots, pans, utensils and food. She now spends almost every waking moment at home 'cooking' up breakfast, snacks or dinner. Like Mama like Daughter, I guess.

She has also started expressing interest in the real kitchen when I'm cooking. She's not quite 2 years old, but once she showed an interest in real cooking, I really wanted to get her involved however possible, even in the smallest way. She helped flatten out cookie dough and top them with sprinkles and candied cherries at our holiday cookie baking. She decorated a gingerbread house with gum drops and marshmallows. She also helped with roasted potatoes. I cut them in half and she placed them on the baking tray, drizzled oil from a squirt bottle and topped them with salt. All simple tasks that she was completely delighted by.

When I put out a call for some recipes to use up some browning bananas I had on hand, I got so many delicious suggestions, but the one the one I went with were the simple banana pancakes shared by my friend Donna. They looked simple and healthy and, well, pancakes are my end all-be all so it was a no-brainer really.

Not only were these easy and totally yummy, but they also contained no flour (bonus) and Penelope could totally help prep the ingredients. P loves to peel bananas so she peeled them and then I asked her to break them up into pieces and place them into the mixing bowl. I mashed and mixed, while P also did a little mixing. She then watched with interest as I cooked the pancakes.

The finished product was so good. Just a few ingredients and a few minutes and these came together in no time. I topped Penelope's with a little bit of strawberry jam. Though she hesitated at first (she always does with new foods), I turned around a few minutes later and almost her entire pancake had been devoured.

So in short, we will definitely be making these again soon! And my favorite part is that one batch made around 7 good sized pancakes so I could wrap and refrigerate the leftovers for another day.

Flourless Banana Pancakes
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Butter or oil of choice

Peel and mash bananas in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, vanilla and cinnamon and mix well with a fork. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt butter or add oil to coat pan. Drop by 1/4 C of batter into pan. I was able to do 3 at a time. Cook until the edges set and they begin to bubble, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook on reverse side until cooked through, another 2 minutes or so.

Serve warm topped with whatever you like! Penelope enjoyed these with seedless strawberry jam and I liked them with pure maple syrup. I bet these would also be awesome with chopped almonds or nut butter!


Do your kids like to cook with you?

How do you incorporate your kids into the kitchen?