Last week I made pumpkin muffins. (I know it’s a little early, but I grew up in Florida where there are no seasons, so it’s all fair game year round. Besides, the grocery stores are selling pumpkins, so it’s fall now 🙂 )

I love muffins, but I don’t love when you buy them at a store and they become a dessert. I want my muffins to be healthy enough to replace a complete breakfast on a busy morning. Sweetened mostly with maple syrup or fruits, using whole wheat or another whole grain instead of all-purpose flour.

These kinds of recipes exist all over the internet. On this day, I landed on Cookie and Kate’s Healthy Pumpkin Muffins.

I had my kids help me. I really do believe that kids can help in the kitchen. Even my 18 month-old girl loves to be near when we cook. It’s never easy to involve small children, but for me it’s easier to bake with my kids than cook with them. Maybe because baking is usually something extra. If it fails, we don’t have to scrounge for dinner.

These muffins looked great in the original recipe. When we made them, they were a little dense but I’m sure that’s just because we didn’t follow the recipe exactly. At some point, we probably added extra flour or not enough oil or we stirred too long or something. But they were fun to make and they tasted pretty good. The best part came at the very end, when we sprinkled oats and cinnamon on top of the raw muffin batter.

I actually had the brilliant idea to put the oats and cinnamon in two tiny bowls. I instructed my kids to “pinch” the oat mixture and sprinkle. It’s almost like I got that idea from Pinterest. But I didn’t. I made it up myself.

When my little girl (18 months) saw this, she grabbed a chair from the table, scooted it to our island, and climbed up so she could participate. Then she did this:

Scooping oats from their canister and into the nearest other container. Something else Pinteresty that my 18 month old discovered on her own. That’s called natural.

I love when my kids entertain themselves. She actually didn’t make a giant mess or anything, either. I figured, even if she did, they’re just oats. Pretty easy clean up. Once I put the muffins in the oven, I moved my daughter to the table because she was having so much fun. As I was cleaning up from baking, this happened:


It’s okay though. “Amazing Grace” was playing on YouTube, so we were all reminded to just take it easy (okay, I was a little frantic, but we figured it out quickly).


What a beautiful song, right? Perfect for those frantic moments of motherhood when we have lots to do but our babies are yanking on our shirttails, drawing us near. My kids just got out their little “set” as they call it (a mini dustpan and brush) and swept up. Then, the kids went to bed and the next morning we ate pumpkin muffins. Win. Win. Win.

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