Animal Treats…Good Enough to Eat

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I practically grew up at the Marin Humane Society. As a young child, I was a camper; as a teen, I volunteered there for my Government class; and as a college student, I spent my summers in their kennels with the animals and helping the staff. It is no wonder that I find myself there again as an adult. This time, the furry residents of the shelter are eating the fruits of my labor. Literally.

For the past year, I have been offering specialty cooking classes to the children at MHS Summer Camps and Roots and Shoots meetings to create healthy and delicious animal treats. The students beam with pride as they cook for a purpose…and find that their culinary creations are gobbled up by humans and animals, alike! After all, why shouldn’t they be? They are full of delicious ingredients such as cheese, carrots and parsley. As 6 year old, Amelia, says, “it’s better to use ingredients that sound like real food instead of things made by scientists.” The animals couldn’t agree more, especially given the recent news of contaminated pet food that was ultimately recalled.

Enjoy our recipes, and don’t be surprised if humans stop by and say they look good enough to eat!

Kitty Catnip Cookies

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons wheat germ

1/3 cup powdered milk

1 teaspoon catnip

1 egg

1 Tablespoon unsulfered molasses

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Extra flour, if necessary

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Add Molasses, egg, and oil.
  4. Add additional flour if the mixture is too sticky; add water if it is too dry.
  5. Shape into tiny balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Cheesy Doggie Delights

3 cups minced parsley

1/2 cup carrots, chopped finely

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 Tablespoons bran

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 to 1 cup of water

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and put the rack on middle level. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. Cut parsley with kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter.
  3. Put parsley in a large bowl.
  4. Use a Food Chopper or knife to cut the carrots into very small pieces.
  5. Add them to the parsley.
  6. Grate the mozzarella cheese. Add to parsley and carrots and mix.
  7. Add the oil.
  8. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. When they are well mixed, add to the vegetable and cheese mixture.
  9. Gradually add 1/2 cup of water, mixing well. Make a moist (but not wet) dough. If needed, add a little more water. Knead for one minute.
  10. Form dough into balls and place on cookie sheet.
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes until biscuits have browned and hardened slightly. (They will harden more as they cool.) Store in an airtight tin.

Michelle Stern owns What’s Cooking, a SF Bay Area business that offers healthy cooking classes to children of all ages. She recently launched an online menu subscription service that gives families tips on including kids in the kitchen for 5 healthy and seasonal meals every week. For more information, please visit:


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Filed under Community Service, Cooking with Kids, Recipes

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