Mention the words 'pumpkin spice' and we're basically all ears. When our communications manager, Kate, said that she had a favorite chex mix recipe featuring pumpkin spice ... we knew we'd just have to share it with you! Keep reading to hear a few of Kate's tips for baking with toddlers, a family 'You've Been Boo'ed' Activity and, of course, the delicious recipe!
Baking with Toddlers
Baking with toddlers can be exhausting and messy. I get it! But, I know that the lessons learned: cooking, measuring, concentration, listening, etc. are well worth my effort (and clean up time). My two-year-old loves helping in the kitchen and I try to engage him as often as I can. Here are a few tips I've discovered that make the process a little easier on both of us:
1. Embrace the toddler's 'I Can Do It!' spirit and plan to really allow them to do as much of the baking as they possibly can. Have an extra mixing spoon ready, let them pour, teach them which ingredient is which, etc.
2. Set yourself up for success and select an easy-to-make, fuss-free recipe (like chex mix!). Don't try to take on a family favorite recipe that requires boiling, and mixing, and takes two hours to bake. Choose something simple!
3. If you're going to be using the oven then identify a 'safe spot' that your child stands at (that's a safe distance from the oven) every-time you open it up. Every-time I open the oven for instance, I shout 'safe spot!' and my toddler knows to go stand by the refrigerator door. We practice and review the rules before we start baking so he knows the expectations and stays safe.
4. Insist the child help with the dishes! It's never too early to start learning how to put the dishes in the dishwasher or put them away. Cleaning up after we bake is just part of the process. Plus, they can count this towards their Chore Sticks tally!
Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix
- 8 cups rice chex cereal
- 4 cups pretzels
- 2 cups mixed nuts
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cups candy corn
- 2 sticks butter
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 4 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 3 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
2. In a large roasting pan mix together the chex cereal, pretzels and mixed nuts.
3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter.
4. Add the coconut sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice and honey to the melted butter and stir to combine.
5. Evenly drizzle the sugar mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Really ensure that the ingredients are well coated - you want every bite to be coated in that delicious buttery, pumpkin flavor!
6. Bake the chex mix for 30 minutes; removing from the oven every 10 minutes to stir and ensure mix is well coated.
7. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Gently mix in the dried cherries and candy corn.
This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd or is perfect for bagging up as gifts to neighbors and friends!
You've Been Boo'ed Gifts
The idea is simple: leave a treat on your neighbors door, ring the doorbell ... and run! They're delighted with the surprise and then have the task of repeating it to another neighbor. We love how this simple activity encourages families to Make Time Together in such a fun, care-free way!
You could really do this 'You've Been Boo'ed' activity any time of year (ie: May Day!), but we're all for any excuse to wear our Halloween costumes!
I want to know ... do you like baking with your toddlers? What tricks would you recommend? Do your kids love chex mix as much as I mine? Wishing you a very Happy Halloween!
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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