Hummingbird Muffins - packed with fruit, tastes like lollies - easy lunch box "treats".

Hummingbird Muffins - packed with fruit, tastes like lollies - easy lunch box "treats".

My boys love a sweet treat in their lunchbox, as all kids do.  But I TRY (in caps yes because it is tricky) to make the treat a little bit healthy and not come out of a store-bought wrapper. A balance between something the kids think is a treat, but doesn’t have tons of sugar and preservatives.

I found this recipe a few years ago and we make it often - I love that it is packed with fruits and that they are moist even without icing.  I have adjusted ingredients over time to fit in with our preferences and reduce sugar. 

Its sweet because of the fruit and not entirely because of the sugar… but the kids don’t need to know that, right? 

 

Kids baking muffins

 

Prep time - 15min

Baking time - 18min

 

First things first, pre-heat oven to 180C. 

 

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (original recipe had 1 whole cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (original recipe only had baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

 

In a second bowl:

  • 2 mashed brown banana’s (pop bananas in the oven on a low heat for a few minutes to encourage them to go brown)
  • 1/2 a 425g can of crushed pineapple (You can use a whole can if you like)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4  cup coconut oil (original recipe used vegetable oil)
  • 3/4  cup walnuts, roughly chopped (keep some for sprinkling over the top)
  • 3/4  cup desiccated coconut (original recipe recipe does not have coconut)

 

Baking for kids lunchbox

 

Mix together well and then pour into dry ingredients - do not over mix.  Use a wooden spoon to fold in, instead of a whisk.  Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl. 

Next, line your muffin tray with reusable silicone moulds, (my moulds are from DEJ Kids and can be found here, they work well, I don’t have to / like to clean a muffin pan).  

Fill each mould about 3/4 full. 

(I make 12 large muffins and then if I have any batter left over, I pop into a mini muffin tray and bake at the same time, half the baking time).

Pop into the oven for 18-20 minutes.  Use a toothpick to check if they are done - It should come out clean with no batter sticking to it.  

 

 Kids lunchbox ideas

 

Generally if I am baking to fill up lunch boxes, I leave the icing off (just because its less messy when they are at school), but seeing as we are on holiday at the moment, I whipped up a super quick icing that isn’t full of the usual load of powdered sugar.  

Take 3 tbs of cream cheese, add a tbs of honey or two and a couple of squirts of lemon juice - I usually just taste as I go to make sure I get the correct balance.  

Spread over the top of the muffin with the back of a spoon and sprinkle with a pinch of walnuts.  Alternatively, cut the muffin a half and spread the cream cheese mix on both sides. 

My boys love the “icing”, that has absolutely no refined sugar as an ingredient.  

 

Kids baking recipe 

 

This recipe is a winner for most fussy eaters too, as you can’t really tell what’s in it by looking at it - by all means tell them its lolly flavoured - perfect for lunchbox “treats”.  Try experimenting by adding raisins, or even mashed up avocado - what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

I would keep them in the fridge if your house is very warm, just incase. 

We added these food picks as a final fun touch and voila - your hummingbird muffins are ready to serve...

Fun food picks

 

Written by Dandy Swanks Snaps (Product photography and content creation)

 

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