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Volume III
October 14, 2011

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Teaching Children While They Cook

By Patty Liston

I love DVO for the wealth of information contained in their articles, DVD's, and newsletters. As we strive to broaden and bring variety to what we do, we writers are always on the look-out for interesting information that is not always found on a well-worn path. Enter S.M.M.A.R.T.

Lisa Bergantz is a mom of 4 children who wanted to instill in her little girls a love for science and math. She therefor started inventing recipes, play projects, and crafts to do just that. Not satisfied with just the sciences, she added other subjects. "Children need to know about music, art and reading, too," Bergantz said. Wanting to share her ideas, she started the website SMMAART Ideas, which stands for Science, Math, Music, Art, Reading and Time-out. (

I went all around the site and was fascinated by all of the information and ideas she has posted. Many of her teaching tools involve food. Did you know that you can use a banana to teach fractions? Actually very clever experiment.

With Halloween coming up, she has an explanation and experiment that answers the age-old question, "Why does crispy cereal 'snap, crackle, and pop'"? After answering that question and participating in some "foody" experiments, children can make the rice crisp ghosts in the recipe below.

To give you an idea of the fun you can have in the kitchen with your children, neighbors or grandchildren, while fostering their "snap, crackle, pop" curiosity, I copied this learning idea from her blog:

•   Set up a few bowls of dry cereal and a few cups of different liquids.
•   Let your child pour the different liquids onto the dry bowls of toasted rice.
•   Do the rice "berries" make the same amount of sound when you pour a different type of liquid on them?
•   Try warm water, cold water, soda, warm milk and cold milk. Talk about your observations with your child.

Rice Krisp Ghosts

-Melt 1/4 cup butter

-Add 10oz marshmallows and mix around in the butter. Put back in microwave for about a minute so the marshmallows are melty

-Stir together to help melt the marshmallows down.

-Add 8 cups of toasted rice cereal and stir mixture all together until rice cereal is mixed in well.

-Pour mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Shape the mixture into a ghost a hay stack.

-Sit the mound onto another sheet of plastic wrap and smoosh the bottom of the mixture to flatten the bottom.

-Refrigerate to allow mixture to harden.

-Melt white chocolate chips in microwave. Remove chocolate and stir till smooth. Use a spatula to smooth chocolate over the toasted rice/marshmallow mounds.

-Refrigerate till chocolate hardens.

-Use a little melted white chocolate as "glue" to secure two black chocolate chips onto the ghosts as eyes.

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