Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kid-Friendly Corn Muffins


 
How do you get a child to eat something new that you are uncertain they will like? Have them make it with you!

I am a firm believer that kids who cook are also kids who like good, wholesome food. Not only do they feel a part of the process and take pride in their creations, but they also learn what’s in the food they eat and where it comes from.

For example, I teach part time at Discovery School Montessori School. Fridays are special because only our Pre-K kids attend. This special class not only helps ensure they are prepared for kindergarten the following year, but is also allows us to introduce them to fun topics like artists, the theater, countries around the world, and cooking.

Last Friday I gave our first cooking lesson of the year: corn muffins. I picked this recipe because the corn harvest is finishing up here in Kansas and many of the kids have seen the large combines going through the dried stalks to pick the corn. (Okay, this picture is actually from my parent’s farm in Missouri, but you get the idea.)

 
How many of your kids like corn muffins? Or would even try them? I wasn’t sure how they would go over with my group of 4 and 5 year-old students either.

When they came into the classroom and saw me setting up, they were immediately excited at the idea of making their snack for the day. Later in the morning, we gathered around a large table and each of my 13 students took turns scooping, measuring, sifting and stirring the ingredients.

 
 
 
Was their technique perfect? Of course not, but they took their work very seriously and tried very hard to get everything right. My job was to show them how, let them try, and then fix their shortcomings to make sure the muffins would come out good enough to eat.

They did! The kids were excited when I brought them from the oven into the classroom—so excited, in fact, that they interrupted a special guest who had come to read them a story. (Sorry!)

 
When it came time to eat the muffins, all 13 kids dug in. Only one child stopped eating after a couple of bites, but he had been out sick with a stomach virus the previous few days and said his stomach didn’t feel right. One other child, who ate half of his muffin, told me later he didn’t like it, but he still wanted to take an extra one home for his mom!

All the rest of the class ate their entire muffin! Eleven kids ate a plain corn muffin with only a little butter smeared on the top. Nothing else. And they liked it!

 
 
What I like about this recipe is it contains honey for sweetness instead of sugar, and it calls for more cornmeal than flour, giving the muffins a wonderful corn taste. You could also add a few corn kernels to the mix if you want additional flavor.

These muffins would make a great addition to a soup, stew or chili meal. They also taste great for breakfast, warm with butter and honey. (I know from personal experience.)

Cooking with kids is such a rewarding adventure. Go ahead. Give it a try. You may be surprised by what you can get them to eat!

Cornmeal Muffins

Make 12 muffins

3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and honey until frothy. Sift the remaining ingredients over the top of the egg mixture, and then whisk in just until smooth.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, dividing the batter evenly between each space. (The muffin spaces will be pretty full, but don’t worry. The muffins don’t rise too much.)

Bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow the muffins to rest for 5 minutes in the muffin tin, and then remove. Serve warm.

4 comments:

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

this is wonderful! of course they loved these muffins - they made them! great post :)
Mary x

~~louise~~ said...

Gee, I sorta wish I was one of those kids right now. Those Corn Muffins look delicious! What a wonderful experience for the kids, Linda. I'm sure your satisfaction came more from their excitement than the corn muffins themselves. BTW, did you get one, lol...

Thanks for sharing...

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

Involving kids in cooking is so important to teaching them about food and good eating habits. Your corn muffins look tasty! I love all things cornbread.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Look at those precious children learning to cook. How I wish my mother had let me in her kitchen. Being a southerner, I was raised on cornbread and thought all kids liked it.
Sam