Making kids’ baking favourites a little healthier

Baking with kids is both messy and fun. This week I am presenting some healthier versions of recipes which would be great in a picnic or as birthday party options.

When we can make food at home, we can use better-quality ingredients and it removes the need for the likes of preservatives.

Preservatives are designed to prolong the shelf-life and inhibit bacteria. Humans are made up of billions of good bacteria strains, and findings are that the diversity is impacted when preservatives are over-consumed.

The experience of letting children measure and count, mix textures and taste different flavours are all beneficial for their development, and we all know how nice the house smells when you have freshly baked goods to serve.

A little messy at times, but all for a good cause!

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Chocolate crackles


2 cups rice bubbles/puffed rice

¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup shredded coconut

¼ cup cacao/cocoa

¾ cup melted coconut oil


Combine puffed rice, maple syrup, coconut and cacao powder in a bowl. Add coconut oil and mix until combined. Spoon into silicon muffin moulds or paper cases and allow to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Store in fridge for up to 3 days, if they last that long.

Puffed rice can be found in the health aisles and is gluten-free.

Rice malt syrup would be another sweetener alternative to maple syrup.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Chocolate coconut rough


200g Whittakers 72% dark chocolate (or 50% dark chocolate)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

¾ cup dessicated coconut

½ cup hemp seeds


Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a glass bowl over a saucepan of hot water.

Add coconut and hemp seeds and fold together. Place the mixture in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up slightly.

Pop small spoonfuls into mini silicon muffin tins, moulds or on to a lined baking tray. Repeat until mixture is used up.

Place in the fridge for about an hour until set, then enjoy.

They keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Chocolate tahini dates

Makes 9 servings


1½ cups pitted medjool dates

⅓ cup tahini

1½ Tbsp coconut oil

¾ cup Whittaker’s 50% dark chocolate

½ tsp sea salt (flaky) OR 3-4 freeze-dried raspberries (optional)


Arrange the dates on to a lined baking sheet with the cut side up. Drizzle tahini over the top. Place in the fridge.

Add the coconut oil and chopped chocolate to a small saucepan over low heat. Continuously stir until the chocolate has melted. Pour it into a shallow bowl and let it cool for five minutes.

Once the chocolate has slightly cooled, remove the dates from the fridge. Drizzle chocolate over the top.

Place the baking sheet back into the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to let the chocolate harden.

Remove from the fridge and sprinkle flaky salt or crush freeze-dried raspberries all over the dates. Enjoy!