kids cook

Kids Cook! Frozen Delights for Summer: Mexican Paletas

Looking for ways to beat the heat this summer? Turn your freezer into a private popsicle stand – it’s a chilly, fun, tasty way to beat the summer heat. Oh, and did we mention economical, too?

Ice pops are popular around the world, especially in Mexico where paletas, ice pops made from unusual tropical flavors (think tamarind, mango lime, or watermelon and cucumber) are a super refreshing way to cool off on the tropical beaches. On the creamy side, there’s even arroz con leche (rice pudding) paletas, Mexican chocolate (cinnamon flavored), and avocado frozen treats as well.

Authentic Mexican paletas often combine a bit a savory, or even spicy, flavors together – pineapple and jalapeno or mango and chile, ice pops are even dipped in savory spices – we’ve decided to go with a sweeter version here though.

To make Paletas at home, think about whether you prefer an agua (water) based pop or one made with leche (milk) for a creamier treat.

Then the sky’s the limit as far as flavors – if you have lots of berries on hand, puree them in the blender or food processor. Then pour through a fine sieve to discard seeds. Add sugar (about 1 tbsp per ½ cup of fruit). Mix with milk, yogurt, juice, or water – then freeze.

To freeze paletas, you don’t need fancy equipment. Have a Dixie cup and a popsicle stick? You’re in business! Plastic ice pop trays can be picked up at the supermarket, dollar store, or even drugstores.

The trick, especially with small children, is patience – paletas, and all ice pops, need time to freeze. But if you start these in the morning, they should be ready after dinner. Or make the night before for the next afternoon.

For a fun summer activity, try setting up a paletas bar with a variety of juices, yogurt, plus assorted chopped up fruit and let the kids play ice chef!

We created two easy, tasty, fresh, and relatively healthy paletas combos below.

But use your imagination – Enjoy!

Orange and Blackberry Paletas

  • * 1 cup Orange juice
  • * ½ cup Pomegranate juice
  • * ½ cup Blackberries

Pour a layer of orange juice into pop mold. Freeze until firm.

Mash blackberries and combine with pomegranate juice (strain through a fine colander if mixture is too thick).

Fill molds rest of way with pom/blackberry combo

Freeze until hard.

Strawberry Lemonade

  • * Store bought lemonade
  • * Squeeze of lime juice
  • * Fresh strawberries

Mince or thinly slice strawberries. Combine with lemonade and lime juice.

Freeze in pop molds.

 Bonus Recipes

Mexican Chocolate Fudgicles: prepare instant chocolate pudding mix. Add ½ tsp of cinnamon and dash of vanilla. Pour into molds. Freeze.

Watermelon Paletas: Puree watermelon in the blender, add a squeeze of lime. Combine with a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled, then cooled) to get desired consistency and sweetness (you may find you prefer the pops sugarless). Freeze.

Love these Mexican –influenced ice pops? Discover more Spanish language fun with our Spanish Discovery Set, here.

Kids Cook: Gooooaaaal! Brazilian Treats For the World Cup

The World Cup 2014 is just around the corner – it starts June 12 – and is being held in host country Brazil. Here at Little Pim, we’re excited to share our love of both the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture with our friends. To get you ready for some world class World Cup watching, we have two easy Brazilian recipes – one savory and one sweet – great for small hands to help create.

Vamos comer! (Let’s eat!)

Savory Treat: Pão de Queijo (cheese puffs)

Courtesy of Saveur
Courtesy of Saveur

These savory cheese puffs are crisp on the outside, rich and chewy on the inside. They’re a popular treat in Brazil for an afternoon snack or pre-meal nibble –although we think they’re also perfect for watching Futebol (soccer)!


  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs


  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together tapioca starch, Parmesan, flour, salt, and yeast. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until butter melts. Pour mixture into dry ingredients along with 1 egg and stir until dough forms; cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Kids cook:

  1. Using a tablespoon, portion out dough and roll each into a ball. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 2" apart; beat remaining egg in a small bowl and brush balls with egg.
  2. Bake until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Makes 16

Sweet Treat: Brigadeiros (Chocolate fudge balls)

Courtesy of Saveur - world cup brigadeiros
Courtesy of Saveur - world cup brigadeiros

These fudgy truffles are a favorite dessert throughout Brazil. We say “Gooooaaallll” for the easy recipe and yummy sprinkles on top.


  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup chocolate sprinkles


  1. Bring butter, cream, and milk to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add chocolate and cocoa powder, and reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is the consistency of dense, fudgy batter, about 16 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. Chill until set, at least 4 hours.

Kids Cook:

  1. Using a tablespoon, portion out fudge and roll into balls. Roll each ball in chocolate sprinkles until evenly coated.
  2. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 2 dozen

All recipes courtesy of our friends at Saveur.