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How Do I Engage My Kids in Baking?

Getting children interested in baking at a young age is often easier said than done. Most parents face an uphill battle with finicky eaters who have little interest in trying new things and vegetables are almost always out of the question.

But when your child is directly involved in the preparation and cooking processes, that can be a very useful way to break past the barriers of picky eaters and expand a child’s culinary horizons. Kids love to have fun and if you can make food entertaining and exciting, kids are far more likely to grow more outgoing and adventurous.

So how does one go about making food fun? It’s time to get creative! Baking with kids is all about inclusion and giving them important tasks to carry out.

Ask them for their opinions and empower them to make decisions that result in a tasty finished product. Something they can be proud to call their own.
Here are some effective tips for turning younger kids into budding bakers and honing their kitchen skills in no time. And if the below don’t work, you can sign them up for our virtual baking classes!

Encourage the Imagination

Start with the foods they like best. Break out a cookbook or recipe compilation and have them select the meals that are most appealing to them. Every recipe incorporates a variety of different ingredients. Chances are your child enjoys the completed meal but he or she may not know the ingredients that are necessary for making that meal.

When you introduce them to each ingredient one by one, it’s a wonderful way to not only educate them on how to build a meal but have them try each ingredient at a time, as long as they are safe to consume before going into the oven or on the stove. But when your child is given the opportunity to select a recipe to make, it can spark the curiosity to better understand how their favorite dish is made – even if they don’t believe they like every ingredient that goes into it.

For example, if your child enjoys lasagna, show him or her how each of the ingredients play a role in completing the dish. They may not be aware that ricotta cheese is a key component of the recipe, let them taste the cheese before it goes into the mixing bowl.

Going Shopping

Engaging children in baking starts from the source – the supermarket. Taking your kids grocery shopping is a great opportunity for engagement and education. Steer them away from the unhealthy choices by having them select something a food item that is entirely foreign to them.

Maybe you can make it a family activity, choosing a new type of meat or a vegetable that no one in the family has ever eaten before. Dragonfruit, pork, okra, each of these ingredients could fit the bill. You might even incorporate one of these items into a recipe that already calls for it and choose the evening’s meal that way.

Put Your Kids to Work

Just be careful to assign them tasks that are safe to perform at a young age. You may want to wait until they’re a bit older to let them use sharp utensils such as knives and peelers, but they can certainly pour ingredients into measuring cups, stir and mix, transfer prepped ingredients into pots and pans, and so on. Always warn kids about working too close to hot stoves and that a hot pan must always require the use of oven mitts to remove from a heat source.

There will be dirty dishes when everything is finished. Teaching your kids to clean up after a big meal is just as important as knowing which ingredients to put into a recipe.

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Give Your Child Their Own Set of Utensils

When a child has been given his or her own set of utensils that are their personal possessions, it tends to make them more engaged in the activities for which those utensils are used. When it’s time to bake or cook, your child will be excited to bring out those utensils and learn when and how they are needed in the kitchen.

Bringing their own spatula or measuring spoon set to the prep counter will foster a greater interest in the recipes that are being created. They will also be eager to clean these utensils when it’s time to tidy up the kitchen. Give them a drawer or pantry space of their own to store these baking tools for use the next time.

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