Teach your child to Bake in 5 Simple Steps
Does having your kids work with you in the kitchen make you scared for their safety—or for that of your dinner? Here are 5 easy tips to help make sure your little ones—and the food they’re making—stay safe and sound.
- Pre-measure. Are you afraid your child may accidentally dump the whole container of baking powder into your cookie mix? To avoid tragedy, just pre-measure each dry ingredient and put each in a separate container. Your kids will love getting to add each item and whisk them together while you prepare the wet ingredients. Here’s a yummy chocolate oatmeal cookie recipe that will give both of you a job to do!
- Go vegan. Why? Because little hands are always reaching into the mixing bowl to take a taste. Since raw eggs can be the hosts of many dangerous bacteria, you’ll rest easy knowing that your kids are in no danger of meeting salmonella in the kitchen. Try this recipe for delicious vegan pumpkin bread, and know that they can lick the spoon in peace!
- Get your hands dirty. Kids benefit from tactile experiences, so don’t be afraid to let them get a little dirty! If you have a scale in your kitchen, then there’s no need for perfect measuring cups and spoons; your kitchen helper can, with a little help, add handfuls right into the bowl until you reach the correct weight. If you need to convert from volume measurements to grams, check out this handy weight chart.
- Do a little maths. For slightly older children, turn the kitchen into a learning space by asking them to multiply or divide a recipe. Grab a pencil and paper and work through the equations together. Even the most maths-wary kids will do calculations if it means they get a tasty treat as a product of their hard work!
- It’s not just baking. Kids love sweets, of course, but studies show that kids are more likely to eat veggies if they’ve had a hand in preparing them. To involve kids without getting them too close to a knife, let them try one of these savory activities:
- Tearing up salad greens or herbs by hand
- Shaking a closed container of homemade salad dressing
- Squeezing the seeds out of tomatoes (before you turn them into sauce or soup!)
- Grating carrots (or any vegetable!) or cheese on a box grater
- And, finally, taste-testing savory dishes as you make them: if they get to give input on that stir-fry, soup, or salad, they’re much more likely to eat a big plate of it come mealtime!