Baking with Kids

A few weeks ago, my son was sick and we didn’t leave the house for about a week. My daughter got quite bored and we spent most the week reading this:


Because she was such a trooper, I asked her what she’d like to do until her brother recovered and we could leave the house again. She said, “I want to make Fancy Nancy cupcakes.” I pulled out the cupcake book and let her pick a cupcake (pink of course) and we spent the afternoon making cupcakes. It made me think how much I love and how important it is to cook and bake with kids. Here are a few tips if your kids are like mine and rush into the kitchen every time you start pulling out ingredients.

  1. Get them their own apron. My kids insist on wearing their aprons no matter what we’re making.
  2. Let them pick out what to make. I consult with my kids on lunches, dinners and especially treats/desserts.
  3. Encourage them to smell ingredients. This is my kids’ favorite part. They even ask to smell the baking powder and soda. If it goes in, they want to smell it.
  4. The first “hands-on” thing I let them do is stir. I make sure the bowl is big enough to prevent to huge of a disaster. If I’m incorporating dry ingredients into wet, I usually stir a little at first to make it easier for them. If I’m worried about them slopping a wet ingredient mixture, I’ll put it in a sealed container and let them shake it. Much less messy!IMG_7667
  5. Let them taste as you go. When we make treats, my kids love to taste the chocolate chips (of course) or whatever else I may add. When I make something savory, my daughter wants to taste everything. Tonight we made a pasta salad and she sampled every ingredient, including every vegetable.
  6. I don’t always let my kids measure, but I do let them add ingredients after I measure. This is especially crucial when measuring something that has to be exact, like flour. If I’m adding an herb or spice to a dish, I often let my kids shake it in without measuring.IMG_7666
  7. My kids count measurements for me (cups of flour, etc). This is also a great way to practice counting when they are young.
  8. Let them decorate. This is a hard one for me because I’m an admitted control freak, but when I put a blank cupcake in front of my kids and arm them with sprinkles, I think I could win a prize for “Mom of the Year.” They’re not always the most beautiful cupcakes, but my kids have a great time and are so proud of their creations.IMG_7687
  9. I always preach to my kids about the importance of cleaning up after yourself as you cook, so I make them help with this. They put things in the dishwasher and put ingredients away in cupboards.
  10. Teach as you go. When we prepare a healthy dish, I like to tell my kids what benefit each ingredient has and how it will help them. When we bake something, I explain why we add certain things like eggs and baking soda.

What tips do you have for baking with kids?


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