Holiday Baking with Your Children

Holiday Baking with Your Children

Holiday baking is fun with your children

Do you cook and bake with your children? Holiday baking with my kids and grandchildren is one of my favorite holiday traditions. So many good memories. If you bake with your kids regularly or this is your first time the tips below will help you make it a more fun experience for you all.

I know, it’s that “crazy, busy” time of the year again! The months of November and December can be super busy for most parents with all the extra things you need to do to prepare for the holidays on top of your usual commitments.  Have you ever felt like your own family gets lost in the holiday shuffle? Even the most organized person can get overwhelmed this time of year.

Something I found helpful was including our children in the holiday baking and other preparations. One of the most rewarding and fun ways to do this is to bake with them. Your child will learn valuable life lessons such as math, science, and developing their motor skills.

Some parents may balk at the idea, thinking about all the mess, plus sugar and fat that is usually included in holiday baked goods. Baking can be messy, a little bit of mess is so worth it when you see your child’s smiling face. They are always proud of their creations and love tasting them too. If healthy ingredients are a concern for you, you can make healthy treats for the holidays. Before you get started, keep some of the following things in mind.

Tips for holiday baking with your kids

Holiday Baking with Children Of All Ages

Some aspects of baking are not conducive to the very young children, such as taking things in and out of the hot oven.  They love pouring, adding pre-measured dry ingredients such as flour into a bowl and stirring or mixing. Little ones are fascinated by cracking eggs, so let them crack them into a separate bowl. Then you can remove any shell bits before they pour them into the batter. This age loves playing in the kitchen sink so they are great dishwashers.

Older children can read the recipe, follow directions, measure, mix and use appliances all on their own with a bit of adult supervision.

Every age group generally enjoys the creativity of decorating cookies, squares, and cakes.

Kitchen Safety When Baking with Your Children

Remember to keep all sharp blades and hot surfaces away from little hands. It’s important to establish rules for the kitchen and teach your kids about the dangers of hot surfaces. How to use sharp knives when they are old enough. Also teach them to keep their hands away from the mixer, blender, and food processor when these appliances are running.

 Healthy Holiday Baking with Your Children

If you have a favorite holiday recipe loaded with unhealthy fats or sugar, consider replacing ingredients like margarine or shortening with applesauce, pureed bananas or prunes, or a healthy oil like grapeseed oil. Use whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour works especially well in baked goods) instead of white. The amount of sugar in your recipe can often be reduced or replaced with healthier sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup.

If you give your baked goods as gifts, you are saving yourself the hassle of shopping while you get to spend precious time with your kids. The recipients, no matter who they are, will appreciate the sweet taste and love that went into making their gift!

Take some time to bake together as a family this holiday season, you’ll create warm memories that last a lifetime.

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