By Abigail Bartalini, Becky Hassan and Bryce Carreiro
Yal-Day-New Day Care Center Inc. in Brighton brings you the holiday treats that are the most popular among our toddler crowd. Try them with your kids at home! (Find our favorite holiday craft projects for toddlers here.)
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Carving a pumpkin this year? Save the seeds!
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wash the pumpkin seeds and pat them dry with a paper towel. Spread out the seeds on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the vegetable oil over the seeds and salt them lightly. Bake for 30 minutes, or until brown.
Note: Encourage your little one to help you, but please watch him or her closely. Pumpkin seeds are a choking hazard.
Painted Turkey Toast
Painted turkey toast is perfect for a fun breakfast or snack. It’s also a great activity for keeping little ones occupied on Thanksgiving morning while the adults are busy prepping dinner. (See an example here.)
Non-stick baking sheet
To make the turkey shape, have your child place his/her clean hands on a piece of bread. (The colors look better on white bread, but we have used whole wheat and it still works fine). Trace their hands with edible markers. (If you’re worried about the food coloring, just make sure to cut off the colored part before you give it back to the kids. And if you don’t have edible markers, just have them push down on the bread to make an imprint.) Cut out the hand shapes with clean kitchen scissors. Make milk paint (mix whatever milk you drink with a little bit of all-natural food coloring). Use new paintbrushes cleaned with dish soap to paint lightly on the bread (if the bread gets too soggy it won’t toast well). Place the painted toast on the baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 minutes.
Rice Krispies Turkey Treats
Enjoy this treat as a Thanksgiving dessert. This cooking activity takes about 30 minutes and makes six to eight turkeys. (See an example here.)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
10 ounces mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (or Cocoa Krispies cereal for a chocolate version)
The first four steps you may want to do yourself, but your child can stand by and watch!
1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
3. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until well-coated in marshmallow/butter mixture.
4. Using a big spoon, drop spoonfuls of the Rice Krispies mixture onto waxed paper and let sit until cool enough to handle.
5. For each turkey body, create a ball the size of a fist. (The mixture will be easier to work with if you and your child coat your hands with butter or cooking spray first).
6. To make feathers, cut the licorice in half and stick toothpicks through it. Poke them into the back of the Rice Krispies ball.
7. For the eyes, use two marshmallows and stick them onto the ball with toothpicks. (You can also use melted chocolate as pupils or an edible marker.)
8. Attach candy corn for the beak and feet using toothpicks.
Abigail Bartalini, Becky Hassan and Bryce Carreiro are young toddler teachers at Yal-Day-New Day Care Center Inc.