The following is a post from contributing writer, Demetria from Christian Homeschool Moms.
This fall and winter, I plan to do lots of baking with my kids. Sometimes in the middle of planning quick meals that the kids and I can easily make when we’re in starve mode, I remember how much fun it is to also get in the kitchen with my kids and make a meal together. It can’t happen all the time (or I’d be one tired mama), but occasionally baking together would be nice.
I love having my girls in the kitchen with me, and they equally enjoy making a mess! I try to make cooking fun, and it’s even more fun when I’m baking a treat!
I’m learning a few things along the way that help to make baking an enjoyable process, even when it’s easier to just say “no” to the thought of having to clean up afterward. Cooking can be fun, and as long as our kids feel that we’re enjoying the process, they probably will too.
Get them involved in the process.
From choosing the recipe and ingredients, to stirring, mixing, pouring, and then baking- kids love to get involved!
Sometimes we moms tend to have a hard time letting our kids “go to town” in our kitchen, especially since there will always be a major clean-up involved afterward. But being part of the entire cooking process will get our kids hooked as they’re introduced to the world and art of baking.
And yes, I do believe that baking is an art. Plus, with all the fun kid recipe books out there, who can resist?
Baking is meant to be fun, so I’ve learned to let my kids get completely involved in the process. Let kids do the mixing, measure out the liquids, get elbow-deep in the flour, pour into the pans, and bake away. Being completely immersed in the process helps kids to appreciate the final product all the more.
Keep your lesson themes in mind.
If you’re studying China, baking fortune cookies might be a great add-on to your lesson. A study of the Pilgrims’ settlement might lead to a delicious meal of baked corn casserole, turkey and dressing, and sweet potato pie, which is perfect for Thanksgiving!
Think about what your lesson themes are- geographically, historically, or taken from a piece of literature- to gather ideas about what you could bake together to go along with your theme.
Always stay safe.
This goes without saying, but it’s always a good thing to keep in mind, especially with little ones in tow. Keeping sharp knives where they can’t be reached and assisting with placing foods in and out of the oven is something we mamas are likely to do anyhow.
Last week my 11-year-old daughter had been baking apple pie and chocolate cookies for our family desserts. Yum! I’m relived though that she always remains cautious, grabbing her potholder and oh-so-carefully opening the oven door. Although she’s very independent with cooking, and as much as I trust her, I need to stay nearby, just in case she needs a little assistance.
Let your kids be the first taste-tester.
Believe me, when your kids get to be the first to lick chocolate off the spoon, they’ll want to help cook again! Being the first taste-tester gives kids a sense of pride that they were chef for the day. And they’ll get to see if their dish turned out like they expected.
Let your kids choose ideas for the next baking project.
Getting to choose what to make next empowers kids to feel like they’re part of the family planning. I find that my girls feel extra motivated to cook with me on the next go round when I allow them to choose a recipe from a cookbook, or from a cooking site like AllRecipes.com.
Being a part of the process always gives kids a sense of ownership, and I think that’s why my girls can’t wait until our next cooking project.
You’ve got to cook anyway, so you may as well enjoy cooking together. I hope this post gives you an extra boost of motivation to bake something with your kiddos over the holidays.
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