We just started our Summer vacation today and I cannot wait for Ramadan to begin. We are doing the Kids in the Kitchen – Ramadan series this year.
Every year, my kids and I, set a theme for Ramadan. In the past, we have done the A-Z of Akhlaq series, the Prophets in Islam series and the Alhamdulillah for- Gratitude Journal. We have journaled our progress here on the blog but sometimes, as Ramadan is a very busy time, we just posted our activities on Instagram or/and Facebook.
I start by setting a schedule for Ramadan and I try to include as much learning and fun as possible. For this reason, it is never just one theme running. We couple learning with craft or art or book etc. Previously, my kids were too small to help me cook. This year, we are just the right age. My eldest is almost 10yrs old and my youngest will be entering Kindergarten soon. So, I have decided to be brave enough to let all three of my children into the kitchen. We are having the Kids in the Kitchen – Ramadan Series.
I know it will be hard and may be some days, it may be chaotic. Kids can get very excited when they start a new thing but I am hoping that eventually we will all learn to work side by side. I grew up in a household where children were required to do chores. We were always encouraged to help our parents in every way we could. It is our responsibility and duty as part of being a family. My parents taught us that helping around the house and cleaning up after ourselves is a form of showing respect to our parents. It is also how we show gratitude for the things we have.
In Ramadan, my father would help out at Iftaar time by setting the table and cutting fruits. My best memories are of him sitting at the head of the table cutting melons while we ran about fetching things. My brothers would help Dad while we girls helped Mom in the kitchen. Fast forward to now, my husband does the same thing. Even though we had babies, he would sit the kids at the table and teach them the Adhkaar (duas) while cutting fruits.
These seem like simple acts of family traditions, but they build on and teach our children their manners. When we start young, it becomes a part of their character to be helpful, responsible and respectful of those around them.
So, this Ramadan, join me for the Kids in the Kitchen – Ramadan Series. Every day, I will be inviting my children into my kitchen to make a dish or more. I’d love for you to follow our adventure and encourage us. We will be sharing the recipes here, inshaAllah (God Willing). You are welcome to comment and like. I’d like to invite you to post pictures of your children making Iftaar too. We are using the hashtag #iftaarwithkids
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On this note, InshaAllah (God Willing) join me and my children as we make some fun dishes to share with family and friends.
Update: Here are the recipes for you to try.
Kid made Ramadan Recipes
1. Juices and smoothies:
This is the easiest and the most fun way for kids. My children love to press the ‘buzz’ button. I give them a bowl to put in all the fruits and other ingredients which I transfer to the mixie jug. I fix it up and make sure that it is locked in place and they only have to buzz it. My son is old enough now to carry it on by himself but I have to make sure the little girls aren’t around him. Here are a few types for you to try.
• Strawberry milk shake: Frozen strawberries+ milk+ sugar.
• Avocado shake: Very ripe avocado+ milk+ sugar
• Pinna Colada: Coconut+ Pineapple+ milk+ sugar
• Fresh Carrot and Orange juice
• Rooh Afza
• Rooh Afza Lassi – Butter milk +Rooh Afza
2. Salads and no cook meals:
Salads are another fun category for kids. Every since I taught my children to make salads, they love to experiment. Simple dips and sauces are another thing that your children can make independently. Try these below.
• Corn cucumber salad : diced Corn + diced Cucumber + a simple( olive oil + salt + lemon juice) dressing
• Classic Baleela or chickpea salad– We herein Saudi Arabia love our Baleela. It is the easiest chick pea salad ever! Previously pressure cooked Chickpeas or store bought boiled ones ( drained) + pickled cucumber or beets (diced very small)+ dressing ( hot chilli sauce + 1 tsp vinegar + salt).
So… I asked on my Instagram stories if you ladies would like the recipe… and so many of you messaged me within minutes that you do want it! So… since we’ve already finished today’s Iftar and it was right at Iftar time … I’ll just post the recipe with my dark picture. ? . First, the disclaimer. I am a lazy lazy mom and I hate to spend lots of time in the kitchen. But… I love food. . It is hard, I tell you. How can you make delicious stuff in less time without breaking your back in the kitchen..? ? . Well… I cheat. . I find quick solutions to lengthy problems. So… here is a very quick way I make Baleela. The taste comes out just like the one you get from the vendors in Down Town or Corniche and my kids love it. . . Baleela, for those of you who don’t know is a chickpea street food of Saudi Arabia. It is quite popular and mostly you get it from the icecream vans or on the street cart vendors near Corniche or any old Jeddah tourist spot. . . The original recipe contains chickpea, vinegar, hot sauce, pickles… not what I’d feed my kids. . My recipe is this. Ready in 10 minutes. ? . Baleela Recipe . . Chickpea – previously boiled or 1 jar of store bought. Drained. . Cucumbers – two large that have been quartered lengthwise and then diced. . Tamarind pulp – one lemon size ball, washed and pulped. This is what gives the taste. Dilute this with a glass of water. Add more paste if you like it more tangy. . Chili sauce- two table spoons of it or more if you like it hot. The street kind is HOT . Salt to taste . . Mix all of the above together in a saucepan and bring to boil. When it boils, turn off the heat. Let it stand for some time. This is to cool it down and absorb the sauces. . Ta-da! Serve hot. . . You can add a spoonful of coriander powder too if you prefer. . . Tell me how you like it. #streetfood #jeddahfood #chickpeas #salad #iftaar #ramadan2017 #mkbkids #jeddahmom #saudifood #foodie #copycat #baladjeddah #ballad #jeddahcorniche
• Arabian salad – diced cucumbers + spring greens+ diced capsicum + tomatoes + arabian dressing (olive oil + lemon juice+ coriander powder + salt)
• Guacamole and chips
• Humus and vegetables julienne
3. Folding and wrapping:
I will be honest: I hate folding and wrapping 20-30 samosa! But… kids love it!! So go ahead and teach them this (life skill?). Just give them the fillings that you have prepared.
• Spring rolls
• Puff pastries
#iftaarwithkids Let me tell you how our Kids in the Kitchen adventures are going… everyday I am learning something new. ? . Day 1. Son made ‘Date Roll-Overs’. His recipe that we have been forced to try. The original plan was that they make almond stuffed dates with sesame on top but he had other ideas. The Dates were pitted, filled with Kiri (cream cheese) and then an Almond was pushed into it. ? . . Surprisingly, it was good. The sweetness from the Dates plus the cream cheese inside it was… different. . . Day2. He was out. The girls cut the Sambosa strips with a herb scissors for me. We fried them into Crisps for the corn salad. It was good. Simple enough for the girls. . . Day3. We made a smoothie. Almonds+Strawberries+Soya Milk. It was delicious!! . Day4. I let them fold the Puff pastries. They couldn’t get it the way I wanted so we just made simple egg puffs. Son wasn’t home again but the girls really did a very good job. We had rosette puffs and egg puffs. . . The Samosa above were done by my 9 year old the same day. I had enough Sabzi (vegetable filling) for about 9 Samosa and so I pulled out 9 strips and told him he could fold those. He came back to tell me that he could do some more. ??♀️ . We ended up with 25 samosas!!!! ? My fasting brain didn’t understand what had happened until we sat down for iftaar. There was only a pea size amount of sabzi in each samosa!! ?? . Today: I let him put the chat together. Alhamdulillah it was good. No messing up… only stealing sev. #lickingthebatter . . . From tomorrow, I think I I’ll just let them set the table! ::collapses:: #witsend #jeddahmom #mkbkids #mkbfamilyfood #ramadanmkb #islamicparenting #muslimah #muslimparenting #growinglittlemuslims #muslimhomeschooling #iftaar #ramadan2017 #jeddahkids
4. Cutting, peeling and plucking fruits.
My kids love to do this. Their father started them on this. He would ask them to pluck the grapes off the stem or peel the bananas for the salad and now it is a competition. Ok, so they will eat some ( umm… most) of it but it is ok. The older ones usually listen and mind the younger ones.
• Fruit salad
• Fruit chat
5. Dates :
This is my son’s favourite recipe. He has like 20 versions of how dates should be served!
• Chocolate dipped dates: just melt chocolate, fill the dates with sum dry fruit paste and dip in the hot chocolate
• Dates and almonds: Blanche the almonds or boil to soften and remove skin. Cut the dates and insert the almond in place of the seed.
6. Quick desserts:
When I first started cooking with my kids, I started the Montessori way. At the age of 2.5 years, I taught them how to stir and pour. The best way to teach that was to let them make these quick desserts. I used store bought packets for these. If your children don’t have allergies then once in a while this is a good idea too.
• Jello – Prepare the hot water in advance and follow the instructions.
• Crème caramel– many brands have this quick instant version of crème caramel. You only have to add milk and stir.
• Muhallabia– if you live in the Middle East, I am sure you know about Muhallabia. It comes in an instant version. You just add milk, stir and then boil and pour. I let my kids do the mixing and stirring only.
Sometimes, a #breadpudding can put things right. This #poundcake was too dry… The kids didn’t want to touch it. #Baked with 3eggs, 500ml of milk and half a cup of sugar and a sprinkling of #toastednuts and raisins later, alls well with the world. . You know… anything they can cook… they can eat. #instafood #instagood #cakes #pudding #foodporn #baking #kidseat #toddlerfood #cookingwithkids #dessert #dinnertime #jeddahmom #kidsinthekitchen #iftaarwithkids
• Bread pudding with crème caramel– this is the fun recipe where you just arrange the bread and add the crème caramel (mentioned above) till the slices are soaked. Place in the fridge till it sets and then decorate.
These are just some of the recipes that my kids find fun. Do let me know in the comments if you have any favourites for us to try.