One of the most enjoyable areas of the culinary world is baking but it takes quite a bit of effort. Thus when baking it is always nice to have an assistant and your assistant can easily be a child. There are a lot of ways kids can not only help but have fun with baking projects. Here are some ways to get kids involved with baking safely and (hopefully) without a mess.
Start Out Simple
If a child is very young or new to baking keep them away from mixers or other appliances. Let them help out by weighing/measuring ingredients, sifting flour, or bring you what you need as you need it. You can also ask kids to knead dough or measure out batter to fill cupcake and muffin pans.
A very kid-friendly baking activity is to let them not only ice baked goods but to pick out colors and toppings. You can let them mix in food colorings and use sprinkles or dip goods into ingredients like chopped nuts. You can give them a butter knife to spread icing or let them put the icing in a piping bag and get to decorating. Another fun frosting project is writing icing. Older kids can write out words while younger ones can make shapes, squiggles, and dotes. Drizzling glaze on baked goods is also a fun and easy project for little ones.
A clever way to get kids to eat a healthy treat is to top baked goods with fresh fruit. Let kids help you pick out the fruit then let them have fun topping baked goods with a variety of these guilt-free treats. As it is summertime its peak time for fresh and delicious berries. Who knows, the kids might decide to indulge in a healthy snack while helping to adorn a baked goodie.
You can easily let your little helpers put their touch on classic recipes. For example, whip up some crispy rice cereal treats and let them drizzle on a chocolate glaze, make some homemade cheesecake pops and let the kids dip them in an array of toppings, or let the kids press mini pie crusts into pans and spoon in the filling. Another great tactic is to make desserts in mini-sizes that are not only perfect for younger consumers but also helps with portion control.
Getting kids involved in the kitchen from a young age is a great way to teach them life skills and about responsibility. It also gives them an opportunity to create something which can be very fulfilling for people. So get children started out on simple classics like brownies, fairy cakes, and peanut butter or sugar cookies, even if it is from a mix. It’s a great way to share time together and who knows-you might have the next celebrity chef blossoming in your kitchen. And above everything else have fun and teach them that cooking is not drudgery but a joyful part of people’s lives.