Making bannock with children









Author: Heather Stafford

Cooking with children is such a rewarding experience. Preschoolers can learn basic math skills as they measure and count ingredients. They explore new language and procedural writing while you read the recipe together. Allowing your children to take ownership in preparing food makes them more likely to try new things which they have created. Cooking also comes with a whole set of exciting sensory experiences, there’s the sights, sounds and smells involved in cooking, the feeling of touching ingredients and kneading dough and of course tasting the final product! Finally, allowing your children to help in the kitchen boosts their confidence as they gain a sense of accomplishment by helping the family with something important.1 When we bring cooking outdoors, we can double the reward of that experience by spending time in nature and learning even more new skills! 

As the York Region Nature Collaborative begin to prepare for our next exciting Family Adventure Walk in the forest on May 26th at Lake St. George Field Centre, we discussed offering a snack to participants, and the topic of bannock came up. Bannock is a traditional food of many Indigenous people. “The Inuit call it 'palauga,' it's 'luskinikn' to the Mi'kmaq, while the Ojibway call it 'ba`wezhiganag.' Whatever they call it, from north to south and coast to coast, just about every Indigenous nation across North America has some version of bannock.”2 You can read more about the history of Bannock here. 

At the Family Adventure Walk, we will have bannock balls prepared ready for children to roll out into a long worm and wrap around a stick to roast over the fire. We hope that you’ll try making it at home, or the next time have a fire as well! You can find many recipes for Bannock online. I decided to try the one we will be making for the event with my own children in preparation for our event.  

Bannock Recipe:

4 cups flour

½ cup sugar 

2 tbsp baking powder 

1 tsp Salt 

2 tsp Cinnamon 

½ Cup shortening 

1-2 cups water 

Makes approximately 40 pieces 



The first step is to measure all the ingredients into a bowl. My daughters worked on filling the measuring cups and spoons right to the top. We decided to cut the recipe in half since we only had a bit of time before swim lessons. 



Before adding any of the wet ingredients we stirred up all the dry ingredients together. Then comes the fun part, we added the shortening and water and then we got to get our hands dirty! At first the dough was really sticky, my older daughter got right to work mixing with her hands. My younger daughter was a little more hesitant and waited until the mixture got less sticky before getting her hands in on the action.  


Finally, we dump the dough out of the bowl and onto the counter so that we can knead it a little. Grandma taught my daughters how to knead dough, so they’re always excited to try! Because we were in a bit of a rush to get to swim lessons we didn’t have time to make a fire. Bannock is also known as fry bread, because instead of baking it in a pot, or wrapped around a stick over the fire, you can also fry it in a pan with a little grease. We decided to try out frying the bread, this can be done over the fire, or if that’s not available as in our case, on the stove! Once we made a nice round lump of dough, we ripped it into 4 pieces and patted them into flat pancake shaped pieces.  


With a little help from a stool and learning tower, both girls got to try their hand at flipping the bread in the pan. They found that the bread was a little thicker and less floppy than pancakes, so it was easier to flip. They also noticed that they had to be careful that the fat didn’t splash when the bread was flipped.  


And after all their assistance making Bannock, they were super excited to try it out. Our experiment got a passing mark from both kids! I got to try it too, and I think I like it better baked over the fire. I’m really looking forward to making it over the fire with my family at the Family Adventure Walk. For the event, we will be pre-making the dough to make it a little easier. Families will get the chance to roll their dough balls into long worms. Then each person will wrap their worm around and around a stick and roast it over the fire, similar to roasting a marshmallow.  





 Don't forget to register for the Family Adventure Walk !!


  1. Gavin, M. L. (Ed.). (2021, November). Cooking with preschoolers (for parents) | nemours kidshealth. KidsHealth.  
  1. CBC/Radio Canada. (2018, June 20). Bannock: A brief history | CBC radio. CBCnews.  




Showing 2 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Rachel Stewart
    published this page in BLOG 2024-05-13 08:50:39 -0700
  • Rachel Stewart
    published this page in BLOG 2024-05-13 08:25:46 -0700


get updates