Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

Get the kids in the kitchen for Science Week – 14th August – 22nd August 2021

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Mayver’s.

With many of us spending a whole lot more time at home than we are used to, we are also spending plenty of extra time in the kitchen. For families, this time can be stressful, but it can also be an opportunity for younger family members to improve their cooking skills and take a lot more interest in what is going on in the kitchen. So, if you have kids who are primary school age or older, here are some easy ways you can conduct a food tech or science lesson in your very own home.

1. Prepping their fruit

While the person who preps the school lunchbox may be very aware of the need to add Vitamin C via lemon or orange juice to fresh fruits such as bananas and apples to stop them turning brown, less likely are children aware of why fruit will turn brown when exposed to oxygen for an extended period of time. A very simple way to demonstrate this at home is to cut an apple or banana and expose half to lemon juice and leave the other half fresh and without the Vitamin C from citrus fruit. Check it and even photograph the two pieces of fruit and observe the changes over time! Here children will learn about keeping food fresh, sealed and how to prevent oxidisation that naturally occurs when fresh fruit is exposed to air.

2. Baking their favourite treats

One of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to demonstrate changes in food structure is observing the baking process. Whether you are making sourdough at home and watching your dough ferment and rise, baking some healthy muffins and watching the mixtures rise, or making some muffins with baking powder or self-raising flour and some without, it is a great way to demonstrate that dough and baked goods need ingredients like carbon dioxide to rise in the same way that adding gases to water makes them bubbly. Plus, you will have a yummy result to eat when the experiment is over. If you are looking for a tasty recipe to cook with your children, try my Peanut Butter Cups (recipe below) which incorporates Mayver’s Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter, rolled oats, chia seeds, almond milk and raw honey, which is a great example of the way food can change from liquid to solids when exposed to different temperatures.

3. Pop some corn

With loads of time spent in front of the TV at present, chances are that popcorn has made more than one appearance through the pandemic and what is better than popping your own corn at home to see how this popular snack is made? All you need is some raw corn kernels, a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a microwave or saucepan with a lid that you can remove slightly to let some of the air escape. Such a fun yet simple activity, plus the popcorn is a lot healthier than most you can buy at the movies or pre-made in supermarkets.

4. Measure your sugar

Nothing educates us on nutritional composition as seeing the amounts of sugars in foods with our own eyes. Here all you need is some regular sugar, a spoon and a couple of high sugar foods such as soft drink, lollies, sweet sauces or desserts and have children measure out how many teaspoons of sugar the products have in them. Eye opening and fun plus a dose of maths included! Another option is to compare the sugar amounts in a range of drinks – water, juice, soft drink and cordials to help kids decide which are the better options.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup Mayver’s Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Salt flakes

Method:

1. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners and set aside

2. Melt 1/2 the chocolate chips and pour the mixture into each muffin liner so the base is covered in chocolate. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.

3. Combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

4. Take hardened chocolate out of the freezer and equally spoon out peanut butter mixture and place on top chocolate.

5. Melt the remaining chocolate and pour on top of peanut butter. Sprinkle each cup with a pinch of salt and return to the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until set.