Day 12 is the last day of The Fit Fridge’s Twelve Days of Healthy Holidays and a great time to celebrate the most precious gifts of the season. Tell the story “Bear’s Very Best Gifts” (below), using the actions written in bold to keep listeners moving and engaged throughout the story. Afterwards, make a batch of “Apple Crisp Cookies” to share just like Mouse and Bear in the story. Low in fat, super fast to make (no oven needed) and free of common food allergens, they will surely spread good cheer and put smiles on many faces this winter!
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season blessed with joy and peace,
Kim for The Fit Fridge
Apple Crisp Cookies (Makes about 20 cookies)
3 ½ C Plain Rice Chex
2/3 C dried apples
1/3 C raisins
1 T canola oil, plus more for greasing pan and spoon
½ C honey
¼ C packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Line the bottom and sides of an 8”x8” baking pan with foil, and coat foil with canola oil. In a large bowl, mix cereal, apples and raisins. In a small saucepans, mix oil, honey, sugar and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble. Continue stirring, and cook 2 minutes more. Coat a sturdy spatula or large wooden spoon with oil. Pour 1/3 of honey mixture over cereal, tossing well to evenly coat. Repeat twice or until all of the honey has been added to cereal. Use the oiled spatula or wooden spoon to press the cereal into the pan. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until bars are firm. Use a butter knife to cut into 20 bars. Carefully remove each bar, press into a ball, and place on a cookie plate to serve. Store cookies in the refrigerator, tightly covered on a plate or in an air tight container, for up to one week.
These cookies crumble at bit when left at room temperature for more than a few hours. If that happens, pop them back into the fridge and reshape them as needed when they are again firm.
To make these ahead for story time, prepare mix, press cookies into pan and refrigerate until class time. After finishing the story, Cut cookies with students, giving each 1 or 2 to shape and place on a plate.
When telling the story (below), start with all students seated on the floor with a few feet between each student. Demonstrate each motion in bold, and have them follow along.
Bear’s Very Best Gifts
In his den far below
All the cold and the snow
Bear snored through Christmas year after year after year. (Sit with heels together and nose to toes. Snore.)
Bear never sang carols
Or trimmed tree boughs with care, (Tree: Sit with legs crossed, arms overhead and stretch to each side.)
He never baked cookies or wrapped presents to share.
No, Bear hibernated, which means he slept, and slept and slept from winter until spring. (Sit with heels together and nose to toes.)
One year, in December,
In fact, it was Christmas Eve,
Mouse knocked on Bear’s door: (Knock on floor.)
“Wake up! Don’t miss Christmas – please!”
“Is that you, Mouse,?” called Bear, opening one sleepy eye.
If you’ll show me how,
I promise to try.
And before Bear could sleep
Even one wink more,
Mouse pulled him out of his bed (Straight leg stretch: sit tall with legs straight in front, arms reach for toes and pretend to pull bear out of bed.)
And down to the kitchen door.
“To make cookies,” said Mouse,
“We show love with these treats,
We’ll bake them and wrap them
For a gift that is sweet!”
They mixed flour, and fruit, honey and spice, (Sit with crossed legs; mix, stir, pour in lap.)
They sifted and stirred
And they baked them so nice! (Close legs by bringing knees up and feet flat on floor to let cookies bake in the “oven.”)
Just then, they saw Moose,
With some carols to sing,
“I know,” said Bear
“Our cookies to him we can bring.”
But once out in the snow,
They saw Moose had a surprise –
A tree just for Bear – (Make tree as above.)
And the best part was up high!
For at the top of the tree,
Trimmed with berries and bows, (Turn to each side to wrap garland of berries around your body.)
A silvery star softly glimmered and glowed, (Put a “star” on head, and sit straight to keep it in place.)
“To remind us,” said Moose,
“Of Christmases long, long ago,
And the very best gifts of peace, joy and love
That are ours to know.”
So as they gathered around
To share cookies and sing,
Bear said, “Thank you, my friends,
For showing me how not to miss the true gifts
The Christmas season brings.” (Stand without losing star.)
(Written by Kim Spaccarotella)
© Kim J Spaccarotella 2011 (Recipes, activities and stories may be reproduced for classroom or personal use only.)