Baking is a fun and positive experience and one your family can help participate in.  Baking allows for some quality family time while teaching the basics of cooking and kitchen functionality to your children.  Kids love to help and create things and this is an excellent way to have fun and get them involved.

There are a few key steps to consider to make the process enjoyable for everyone. And remember, safety first when using appliances like a mixer or the oven or when handling steel baking cookware.

Choose Simple Recipes

 There are many healthy pastry recipes available to choose from.  Selecting a simpler recipe will help the process go smoother, and will keep your child’s interest.  Too many steps or ingredients can get confusing, so simpler recipes are a great choice.  Mousse, no-bake cookies, peanut butter bars, and brownies are easy to and fun to make and require only a few ingredients.

Use Healthy Ingredients

 There are many recipes that are simpler to make and that have healthy ingredients.  This is an excellent opportunity to teach your child how to pick healthier options-something they can use throughout the rest of their lives when it comes to food.

Whole-wheat flour, fruit, cinnamon, light brown sugar, oats, baking soda, apple butter, unsalted butter, and many healthier options can be called for in healthier pastry recipes. Many do call for sugar, salted butter, and other ingredients, but they can be used in moderation, especially if there are healthier versions of the recipe or the ingredient.

Do Lots of Prep

 When baking with little ones, heavy preparation is one of the keys to a successful kitchen experience. Set out and organize everything ahead of time including cookware, mixers, cookie cutters and ingredients.

If you are baking cookies or peanut butter bars or anything similar, taping wax paper over the counters or table can make the cleaning process quick and easy. Baking with your children means that you need all your attention on the task at hand and searching for pans or ingredients can be troublesome.

Set the Stage

 Designating a place to sit or stand to make your creation is another key factor.  If your child is small, you may want to sit them in their high chair or booster seat as they play and create their own masterpiece in the kitchen.

Older kids can stand or sit at the table or stand at the counter to help.  Setting ground rules for where the process takes place helps your child understand the beginnings of the process and not to run about in the kitchen.

Let Them Try

 Letting your child try the mixer (with adult supervision of course) or cut their own cookie, or decorate their own smaller version of whatever you’re making can really increase the enjoyment factor for them.  This can be with cakes, cookies, various pastries, and so forth.  Drizzling sauce, sprinkles or adding fruit can be fun and exciting for both of you. Don’t worry too much about how it looks, just let them have fun and decorate it their way.

Baking with your children can be an amazing experience for everyone.  They will enjoy their time creating something and helping you do so. It also teaches them the importance of organization, safety, and how to choose healthy options for their meal or dessert.

A little treat like fudge after the job is done is a way to say thank you and to add a little something extra to the entire experience. Having fun in the kitchen is a rewarding and fun experience for your family that can be remembered for years to come.

 

Bio: Since she began Simmer and Zest, Sarah has become more in tune with how food should be enjoyed. She recommends making it with your family and having fun while you’re doing it.