Les Petits Chefs make granola

Last week, Les Petits Chefs tried something a little different – granola!  As a teacher, I know the importance of a healthy breakfast (wait, that sounds a little too much like the Nutella commercial doesn’t it?) and I can totally tell when my students don’t eat breakfast or have something insubstantial – by about 9am they’ve slumped.  Just ask Neil. Before I met him, he rarely ate breakfast, perhaps a cup or 12 of coffee.  Now I am there to annoy him make sure he eats some fruit, some carbs (cereal or a granola bar) and some dairy (yoghurt which he claims to eat only so he can give Cleo the yoghurt lid) and make him a decent espresso in the morning, I am sure he feels better all day, even if he won’t admit it.

I figured granola would be a fairly easy choice for the boys and I like the idea of them being able to customise their portion.  Neil generously donated some Mason jars and I brought some labels so they would be able to name their product and list the ingredients.

Setting up was fairly easy…

I had brought along a number of choices for the boys to include: cranberries, golden raisins, banana chips, almonds, walnuts, coconut, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds…

Err, yes, those are whole sunflower seeds as well as shelled ones – I mistakenly bought unroasted ones (knowing how much the boys love the little packs of roasted ones you can get, I figured it would be a fun addition. T’was only when we added them to the base and the kitchen asked me had I really meant to, did I start to wonder).  Meanwhile, back in the science lab, the boys were eating them regardless. In fact they were snacking on everything…  I removed them from most boys portions but many of them insisted on keeping them in and that they were “fun” to eat. Ok then…  Sometimes, you know, cooking with 7 little boys can make you flustered….

We all took turns helping create the base mixture…

And then I laid out the bowls for the boys to choose their customisations…

Then we chopped the larger nuts and the banana chips…

And got to work writing our labels…

The granola came out of the oven…

We poured our Ziploc bags of customisations into the Mason Jars with some granola…

(errr, yes, Henry likes his almonds).

We stuck on our labels and were good to go:


This was a wonderfully easy recipe and many of the parents commented that their boys loved it. I think letting them have a choice is so important – like in the classroom, a project that they “own” is so much more special.  Plus, this reminded me that making my own granola is so easy and I should do it more often…


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45 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make granola

  1. The Yummy Mummy October 25, 2010 at 09:16 #

    This is awesome, Mardi. Just awesome.

  2. Belinda @zomppa October 25, 2010 at 09:19 #

    Great way to be creative in the “classroom!” And Nutella IS good for your tastebunds. =)

  3. Rachel October 25, 2010 at 09:53 #

    I wish someone had taught me how to make granola when I was a kind! This looks like so much fun! You’re right, customization is key for boys and girls I think.
    Congrats on PFB! You’ve got my vote!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 25, 2010 at 20:48 #

      Thanks Rachel and yes, I wish someone had shown me how to make granola when I was little too!

  4. Grace October 25, 2010 at 10:03 #

    Mardi I really commend you on starting this club, I think it is so important that kids get in the kitchen and learn about food. I often wonder why the Canadian School System removed home economics in the elementary level. I really wish it would make a return. I think if we introduce it to the children at an early age we would have more chance of making an impact. Given them choices is the key, you are amazing and this granola is wonderful! Thank you for making a difference!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 25, 2010 at 20:48 #

      Thanks Grace, I am surprised that there is no home ec education anymore either. But we do what we can!

  5. Marisa October 25, 2010 at 11:12 #

    This is such a great recipe to make with kids! Love that each one is able to customise the granola to their liking.

  6. kristin @ delishliving October 25, 2010 at 14:06 #

    I think what you are doing with Petit Chef is absolutely amazing. I kind of wish I could be a part of it too 🙂 Great recipe, and the perfect snack for active young boys! Love it!

  7. Joy October 25, 2010 at 16:51 #

    Love the photos. 🙂 I know, I’m such a dork, comment about the photos first.

    Mmm…I do love granola and I wish I was part of something like the Les Petit Chefs as a kid. I think my head would have exploded with all the stupendously delicious treats at my disposal. 🙂 Btw, how cute that they all wear ties!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 25, 2010 at 20:46 #

      Yes they wear a uniform and it does make for cute pics 😉 And yes, they enjoy the treats quite a bit!

  8. nicole @ Making Good Choices October 25, 2010 at 20:32 #

    Mardi I almost squealed out loud when I saw their adorable ties in that picture!! I love the idea of making granola with them. Question – where does the funding for this amazing program come from?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 25, 2010 at 20:45 #

      The funding comes from my amazing school. It’s one of many after school clubs offered and there is a budget for that. Having said that, I try to be as frugal as I can to be realistic.

  9. Amelia from Z Tasty Life October 25, 2010 at 20:39 #

    i just love those little chefs in action! Those jars are so cute with their handwriting on them.

  10. Nancy@acommunaltable October 26, 2010 at 01:02 #

    I really enjoy your posts about cooking with Les Petit Chefs!! You made a great point about letting kids make choices and have a hand in the decision making – it can make all the difference!!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 28, 2010 at 08:01 #

      Yes, ownership of projects, both in and out of the classroom is so important for motivating kids, I find.

  11. saltyseattle October 26, 2010 at 02:02 #

    they are busy busy little beeeeeez, those petits chefs. thank god you’re learnin’ em right, M:)

  12. penny aka jeroxie October 26, 2010 at 03:27 #

    That is fab… now I need some of my own too.. been awhile.

  13. Iron Chef Shellie October 26, 2010 at 06:35 #

    awww I wanna make super awesome granola!

  14. Anna Johnston October 26, 2010 at 08:44 #

    Your coaching these little guys the very essence of great food Mardi…, such a wonderful project & judging by those cool labels they’ve made, they’re having a blast while they’re learning & producing. Love it.

  15. Brian @ A Thought For Food October 26, 2010 at 11:50 #

    I rarely eat breakfast, but if I had this granola around, I’d totally eat it! Btw, I wish you were my teacher. We’d have so much fun!

  16. Aimee October 26, 2010 at 13:21 #

    What a fun project, and great little gift idea too! Found your blog via the FoodBuzz contest. Gave your post a <3 .

  17. Bren October 26, 2010 at 22:46 #

    Love seeing the kids at work, especially when they’re making healthy and accessible food! Nice work!

  18. Conor @ Hold the Beef October 27, 2010 at 08:35 #

    Mardi you totally belong on a Nutella ad, a table holding a “complete breakfast” behind you with a jug of orange juice, some fruit and a plate of Nutella heavy toast. With some smiling generic children that look like little rascals with big hearts. Or, actually, Miss Cleo up on the table licking at the Nutella. Yes, that’s it.

    This is a fantastic idea. I am a HUGE believer in the importance of breakfast and this is a very clever way to get the boys more interested in it. Particularly given the overly sugared, all-pretty-similar options that are the standard breakfast cereals.

  19. Neeli October 27, 2010 at 18:01 #

    This is exactly what granola should be! Love it!

  20. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction October 28, 2010 at 19:21 #

    Love this! I’ve been meaning to make granola for a very long time, but it’s one of those things that I just never get around to. Now I’m thinking that I need to move it up on my priority list a bit. 🙂

  21. Myriam @ Detours November 2, 2010 at 04:21 #

    Aww, Mardi, what a fab idea (breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day, so I’m not being quite objective!). And I love the look of the handmade labels!!

    I really enjoyed reading your “Les Petits Chefs” series, especially in the light of a blog post I recently wrote after I read Anthony Bourdain’s “Medium Raw”. Bourdain thinks that schools should teach our kids a couple of essential cooking skills alongside writing and reading to encourage healthier eating – and I couldn’t agree more… http://detours.typepad.com/detours/2010/11/15-essential-cooking-skills-every-citizen-should-know.html?cid=6a0120a546c26f970b013488a5979f970c#comment-form

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 2, 2010 at 07:58 #

      Thanks for your comment Myriam, I totally agree that cooking skills should be included in the school curriculum. One of my dreams is to teach french through cooking – le français par la cuisine…..

      • Myriam @ Detours November 2, 2010 at 19:40 #

        Great idea, Mardi! One of my close friends here in Sydney is learning French, and instead of signing up for traditional 1-on-1 conversation classes, he hired a private teacher and asked her to teach him French while they cook together. He loves it!

  22. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 5, 2010 at 18:19 #

    Ah so I see it’s a do=able dream!


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