Dog Days of Summer

Well, here we are in the last few weeks of summer before school starts. Some parents may be feeling a little antsy with the pressure to get school supplies while still keeping  the household a bit fun in these last warm, sticky days. Now, I will be honest and tell you that I love to take my kids outside for as many nature activities—any time of the year. And when we have rainy days like we did this week where going outside is not an option, I usually dread any activity outside of the kitchen. So the first rainy day we did many activities inside: making forts, making smoothies, reading, puzzles, cleaning bedrooms, laundry, etc., etc. So on day two we were looking for something different to do!

This week is also the birthday of our 14-year-old dog and we usually make a cake or cupcakes for the birthday person (hound). Why should this family member be any different? Long before my husband and I became parents to children, Puffer was our first baby. I made homemade dog biscuits for him on his birthday and Christmas….and the last time I made them was about 12 years ago!  The kids were pestering me about making a dog cake for Puffer, so I suggested the dog biscuits and they were game. I dug out the recipe I used to make and it turned out to be a pretty fun activity. Yes, I do have a dog bone shaped cookie cutter, which we used (for a few); the kids thought the dog would also like different shapes: stars, sharks, flowers….

While we are stirring the batter, cutting shapes and baking them (they do smell a little dog bone-ish while baking), I was just hoping the aging dog still likes them. Sure enough—he does and with all the sickness he has been through this past year (we really thought he would not make it to 14), he perked up when we gave him a treat.

dogbonepicBaking with kids provides so many emotions and learning opportunities. Of course there is the science of it, but in our house it is also about sharing/taking turns, learning about temperature, food safety, and giving unto others—canine and human. This recipe is old just like the dog is and I really don’t know where it originally came from—if it looks familiar to you, please let me know. I hope you try it too—with your kids or with another family or friend—the dog will appreciate it too!

5 cups whole wheat flour (not all-purpose)

1 cup chicken broth or stock

¾ cup vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 eggs

Mix all together in large bowl with a wooden spoon. Add a bit more broth if it is dry. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness and cut shapes out with cookie cutters. Bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

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Sarah Krieger, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian

Provide in person individual assessments in Saint Petersburg Florida area. Services include Nutrition Assessments, one-time or on-going personal chef service, Pregnancy Consulting: Weight Control and Healthy Eating When you’re Pregnant, Remote Nutritional Consulting, Lap Band Surgery Consultation, Nutrition Education to groups or any age, Training Videos, Media Interview for print, live and taped media..