I love involving my children in preparing meals and cooking whenever I can. There are so many benefits in doing this and needless to say it is a brilliant way to encourage picky eaters to try new foods and eat more healthy. This Ramadan , I want to involve my children ,especially my eldest three (9,8 and 5 years old) a little bit more in making iftar and suhur and also in preparing themselves snacks for the day. All recipes can be done by your children, with minimal help and of course, do not forget to involve them in the cleaning process too. I have also included at the end two recipes from Umm Asiya, who is a mummy of 3 girls and one boy and is a passionate cook. Her recipes always look so yummy and delicious and if you are looking for some more Ramadan food inspiration, do visit her Instagram account @umme_asiyah.
The first two recipes are from the DK Book “Look I am a Cook”. I recently found it in Aldi and really loved the look of it. The book was retailed at £2.99 which is a great price and you can purchase it on Amazon too or alternatively borrow it from your local library.
1)Greenest Guacamole– I have never made guacamole , so I really wanted to try this one. When my children were all babies, they loved eating mashed avocados as a weaning food, but sadly something must have gone wrong in their toddler hood, cause they never wanted to taste it again ( typical!)
2 medium tomatoes
handful of coriander (optional)
half a grated onion
3 ripe avocados
half a lime
salt and pepper to season
Method– chop the tomatoes and coriander as small as you can; grate half an onion; cut the avocados in half and scoop the soft insides into a bowl; squash the avocados with a potato masher; mix all the ingredients; finish it off by squeezing lime juice into it and season with salt and pepper.
Verdict-I can honestly say that a home made guacamole tastes so much better than the one bought from the shop and I was really surprised how easy it was to make. Children enjoyed scooping the avocados and mashing it all. Some of them used it as a dip for their oatcakes and bread sticks and I served mine on a slice of bruschetta. I was really surprised that my children actually loved it that much. I can see myself making this again to go along with scrambled eggs for our Suhur. It is definitely filling and it didn’t take long to make. You can double the portion and leave some in your fridge for another day. So all in all, it was a big winner for all of us.
2)Monster Smoothie– smoothies are such a great way for putting all sorts of vegetables without children realising, especially if you have children like myself who are not fans of spinach. Needless, to say they are jam packed with vitamins. I personally prefer having a smoothies for iftar, rather than suhur. But I have seen many people enjoying a smoothies for their suhur too.
half a cucumber
a handful of spinach
Method– Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend! It is as easy as that!
Verdict– We all loved the monster smoothie and I can definitely see us making it a lot during Ramadan especially after a long hot fasting day! I will not be surprised one bit if we have a heatwave in England, as soon as Ramadan comes !
3) Very Berry Breakfast Muffins– this recipe is from the lovely Nadia Hussain’s book ” Bake me a story”. I thoroughly recommend her book, as the recipes are not only delicious and easy to make by the children, but you can also read her witty and funny twist of some of the traditional children’s tales. The recipe below makes 12 muffins.
200g plain flour
200g rolled porridge oats
75g soft light brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3tbsp sunflower oil
250ml whole milk
75g raspberries, halved
- Preheat the oven to 200 C fan/gas mark 7. Line a whole 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases
- Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl
- Mix the eggs with the mashed bananas in a separate bowl then add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients
- Add the sunflower oil and milk, and give it all a good mix, then add the berries and mix again
- Half fill each muffin case with the mixture then place the tin in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen and golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy them warm!
Verdict-We have done this recipe a few times and has been a big hit every time. It just simply doesn’t disappoint. Whenever I get fed up of eating porridge for suhur, we usually bake these muffins with the children the night before and I have a few of them with a decaf tea or warm glass of milk.
The two recipes below are from Umm Asiya:
4) Date cocoa energy balls – these are super healthy , easy and tasty at the same time and really good for suhoor , as you can enjoy them with a glass of milk. It is a also a Great activity to do with your children and a brilliant way to improve those fine motor skills
1 cup dates(deseeded)
1 cup raisins and cranberries 1 cup of mixed seeds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of cardamom powder Desiccated coconut
Handful of chocolate chips.
Method-Add all the ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor grind till everything is well combined. Add the chocolate chips and make small balls I measured with a tablespoon but doesn’t have to be accurate especially if kids are helping, roll the balls in desiccated coconut and that’s it…..! Voila ! Store in an airtight container.
5) “Grazing” platters- I honestly believe that grazing platters should appear more often on your iftar menu. They are great for encouraging fussy eaters to try new foods, as most children would love the various textures of ingredients and of course would naturally love the different colours too. Also if your children are not fasting, they can easily prepare a platter for themselves for lunch or after school too with zero help from you. Platters are a brilliant way also for using leftover fruit and vegetables and thereby reducing your food wastage. And last but not least, in our beautiful religion, we are encouraged to eat from one plate , so platters can definitely do this. The beauty of creating a platter is that you can put whatever you want . We usually try to include fruits ( seasonal ones), vegetables ( carrots, cucumber, peppers, celery), some sort of a bread stick or crackers or oatcakes, a dip ( hummus, guacamole etc), olives, cheese and whatever else you may have in your pantry. Here is an example of a platter from Umm Asiya.
Eva is a Bulgarian home schooling mama of 5 , residing in the south west of England . She loves reading a good parenting book while drinking copies amounts of caffeine to get her through the ups and downs of motherhood. She blogs at Letslearnmama.