Friday 7 October 2016

TODDLER ACTIVITY: Decorating Homemade Gingerbread Men

I can't believe Isabella and I have not decorated gingerbread men much earlier than this, she absolutely loved it. Well, she enjoyed eating the decorations before they made it on to the biscuits! As I still try to reduce Isabella's refined sugar intake I had a go at making my own gingerbread men, which are sweetened with natural sources of sweetness. They were really deliciously and slightly softer (think shortbread) in texture, which made them a lot easier for Isabella to eat. You can find the recipe here or just use your own favourite gingerbread men recipe.
The only high sugar aspect of decorating the gingerbread men is the icing, which you could substitute with a cream cheese/firm Greek yogurt mixture. Mix equal quantities of each together, stir in some vanilla extract and pop into a piping bag ready to decorate. I opted for just regular icing this time because there was only going to be such a small amount on each gingerbread man.
For the decorations I again didn't want to use anything high in refined sugar or chocolate based because Isabella still doesn't have chocolate. After raiding the porridge topping drawer we used sultanas, desiccated coconut, mixed chopped nuts and dried tropical fruits. The sultanas worked well for eyes and buttons, though Isabella was more interested in skipping the middle man and eating them straight out of the bowl!
(Disclaimer - I iced the face on the left gingerbread man. Isabella's fine motor skills aren't that good!)

Have you and your little one had a go at icing gingerbread men before? What are their favourite toppings?
Feel free to leave a comment :)
Helen x

You Baby Me MummyPick N Mix Fridays


  1. Ah this looks like brilliant fun! I can't wait until my two are old enough to enjoy activities like this!


  2. Oh these look so good, and I love the healthier options you've used for toppings. We do let Zach have chocolate and sugary things, but only on rare occasions, so it's nice to have some ideas for baking activities which don't involve lots of sugar xx

  3. Aww I love this, love the healthier alternative decorations too. My boy loves gingerbread so will give this a go xx #picknmix

  4. These look amazing! I have the same problem trying to keep little hands from eating the toppings before they go onto the biscuits! I normally just add different coloured icing to gingerbread men (we aren't particularly creative). This has given me so much inspiration! #picknmix

  5. Fun idea! Also how have you managed to go so long without giving Isabella chocolate and sugary foods??? I always have to be the bad guy but everyone else (partner, grandparents etc) ALWAYS give maddie "treats" and she is starting childcare next week and we went there yesterday and all the kids were eating chocolate cake!! You have done amazing to get this far without giving in!

    1. It is hard - we told her nursery to not give her anything high in sugar, so when everyone else is having brownie or Swiss roll Isabella has fruit/yogurt. To be honest I'm surprised nurseries feed children such unhealthy things, but hey ho!

      Helen x

  6. Oh I used to love decorating gingerbread with my mum. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to do this!


  7. Sweet! I'm making gingerbread with M this week (also for a blog post - I'm going to look like I've copied you!) and I can't wait to see how the icing turns out.

  8. Sounds fun! My two are obsessed with gingerbread so i have said we will make and ice our own for the first time this christmas. #PicknMix


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