Toddlers in the Kitchen :: Juice Pops (Not Just for Summer!)

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Have you noticed the chill in the air around Columbia? I think we can officially say, “Winter is coming …” (Game of Thrones is still socially relevant, right?) It’s been officially fall for nearly a month, but my son still loves popsicles! And I love them, because eating them gives you an excuse to watch Frozen for the billionth time!

Now, I’ll admit, I’m a little bit cheap (mostly out of necessity), so we make our own popsicles! “Juice pops,” as my son calls them. And not only does he love eating them, Remy is finally big enough now that he likes helping me make them too! I have been looking for ways to let my little guy help me “cook” in the kitchen, and this has been a great starting point for a 2 ½ year old.

 

I ended up buying an awesome 6-piece ice pop mold from Ikea this summer. As popsicle molds are usually seasonal items, it may be hard to find one in stores this time of year, but Ikea and Williams-Sonoma both have them on their websites right now. And I would love to try any of the Zoku products. They have a really cool quick ice pop maker that can make a ice pop in as little as seven minutes. And their website has some great recipes too!

We use whatever juice is lying around the house to make our popsicles. Nothing fancy, no extra sugar or dyes, just 100% fruit juice. Any brand will do! We have made orange, white grape, apple, and cranberry-blackberry juice popsicles so far. Remy really enjoys picking the juice and seems to have a sense of accomplishment with the completed process.

Standing on his kid’s size chair (another Ikea find), Remy gets to place each of the pink molds in their yellow holder.

Remy places each mold in one at a time.
Remy places each mold in the base, one at a time.

I pour the juice into the molds, but Remy gets to point to which mold he wants me to fill.

Filled and ready to go!
Filled and ready to go!

After I fill the mold with juice, Remy gets to place the stick in each of the molds.

Remy places one ice pop stick at a time.
Remy places one ice pop stick at a time.
Hurray! All the sticks are in!
Hurray! All the sticks are in!

I then place the molds in the freezer and Remy wants to check to see if they are ready every 5 minutes.

Juice pops are in the freezer waiting to get frozen.
Juice pops are in the freezer waiting to freeze.

It helps if you have a juice pop left over from last time you made them, so your child has one to eat right away. And because your juice pops are made with plain juice, they can be part of a healthy snack (or breakfast at our house).

Do your kids help you in the kitchen? What is their favorite thing to make?

Popsicle image: Auntie K / Foter / CC BY
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In 2011, as Lindsey Young was anxiously awaiting her transfer acceptance letter from the University of South Carolina, she unexpectedly found herself pregnant! It turns out God actually did have a plan, because the next year a perfect baby boy was born and a year after that, she and her baby daddy tied the knot! (Yes, we are aware we did things backward, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it!) Since then, her life has revolved around the tiny terrorist making demands and trying to balance life as a wife, mother, part-time college student, friend, short-order cook, maid, etc., with a husband that works nights. (Though she doesn’t always feel successful!) Lindsey is due to receive her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology from the University of South Carolina in May 2015. Traveling abroad the first time she went to college left her fascinated with other cultures and she is thrilled to get the chance to study the “Tribe of Motherhood” firsthand. She is also due to begin her training as a Birth Doula in October of 2014. Lindsey would like to be an advocate for women’s health education and natural birth options, though she has never had a natural birth herself. Next time though! Lindsey's husband is an Irmo, SC, native and was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point for 5 years. Even though Cherry Point is only 30 minutes away from where Lindsey grew up in Morehead City, North Carolina, they met in Columbia, SC in 2010 while singing karaoke.

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