By Helen Hibberd, founder of Messy Me
I love Pancake Day – I have very happy memories of it as a child and love it just as much as a mum. Even now they are older, my children still look forward to Pancake Day. They get involved in making the mixture and the older two, certainly, will have a go at flipping the pancakes.
Flipping pancakes can be too much for little ones, particularly with hot pans involved, but they will love helping with the measuring, mixing and pouring involved in pancake making and watching the flipping.
When I was growing up, we always had a double dose of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday – savoury for our main course, with sweet pancakes for pudding. So, following the family tradition, we’ll be doing the same this year. Here are some ideas – with (in true Messy Me style) a bit of mess involved…
Pick and Mix:
A variety of different foods on the table so they can pick and choose what goes in the pancake – the only rule being they need a mix of protein and vegetables. (Being Pancake Day, I make sure they’ve all got something they really like to choose from – in my view, it’s not a day to fight food battles!)
Protein options could include – ham, grated or soft cheese, pieces of cooked chicken / sausage, tuna…
Vegetable options could include – tomatoes, cucumber, raw / cooked carrots, sweetcorn, pepper, avocado
Again, a serve yourself idea…
Bolognaise / mince, grated cheese, shredded lettuce, guacamole (or grated carrot in the case of my middle one who wouldn’t touch lettuce or avocado)
This is a two-step process:
The pancake is made and put on a baking tray. Children add their toppings from a selection of pizza favourites such as tomato sauce, grated mozzarella / cheddar, ham, pepperoni, sweetcorn etc. Once assembled, the pancake pizza is then put under the grill for a couple of minutes, so the cheese can melt.
It can be tricky transferring the pancake from baking tray to a plate – a piece of foil between the pancake and baking tray can make it easier.
This can be super messy to eat afterwards – a knife and fork definitely needed – and wet wipes / cloth close to hand.
Other less messy ideas:
Scrambled egg and bacon pancakes
Pan fried chicken and mushroom with a dollop of creme fraiche
Cheese sauce with their favourite vegetables
Sweet Pancake Ideas:
Definitely the highlight of the meal in our family – orange or lemon juice with a generous sprinkling of sugar always goes down very well. Here are some other ideas:
Chocolate sauce / Jam with squirty cream (lots of fun and rather messy!)
Strawberries and squirty cream
Blackberry and apple with ice cream
Sliced bananas drizzled with chocolate sauce / maple syrup or honey
Other Pancake Fun Ideas:
With real pancakes:
- Pancake races – each child is given a pan and pancake (cooled down!). They have to race to a certain point and back again, flipping the pancake a number of times on the way.
- Pancake flip – again, it’s better doing this with a cool pan if little ones are involved. Give the pan and pancake to your little one, set a timer (1 minute?) and see how many times they can toss the pancake.
With pieces of card shaped like pancakes:
- Balancing Pancake races – Balance the card pancake on your head for a race
- Flapping Pancake races – using a magazine, see who can flap their card pancake along the floor the fastest.
- Pancake Treasure Hunt – hide some paper pancakes around the home for little ones to find – you could add clues on each pancake to help them find the next pancake.
Whatever fillings you choose and games you play – Happy Pancake Day!!