Cooking and baking is such a fun activity to do. You can create a delicious food or meal from just a few ingredients. I've always loved baking since I was a kid and would watch a show called "Zoom" which had a portion of the show dedicated to cooking and baking new recipes. I remember always wanting to make what they made. That's back when the internet was still fairly new and they posted all of their recipes on their very basic website. My mom or dad would help me make the food, I specifically remember making pinwheel cookies one day that were so yummy.
I continue baking foods into adulthood and now that I have kids they always see me cook and pull up a chair to help.
When Can You Start Baking With Kids?
I say they can start as soon as they can hold and do a mixing motion with a spoon! My daughter started helping me make banana bread when she was 2 years old and still always insists on helping me everyday. Now that my son is 2, he's always interested in helping us too (specifically with the banana bread)!
Why Is It Important To Bake With Kids?
I think it's important for kids to help with baking for a few different reasons:
It helps them learn basic cooking skills at a young age so they become interested in cooking.
It helps them learn to become independent because once they know how to make basic foods, they can start making themselves meals. For example, they can make their own sandwich at lunch or pour a bowl of cereal for breakfast.
They start learning measurements which helps them learn some math skills. Some recipes may call for converting their measurements if you're making a smaller batch, so they'll be learning how to do that mathematically.
It helps them build confidence. They're learning a new skill that has a lot of little parts to it and in the end they'll be able to see (and enjoy) what they created for themselves and others.
How Do You Involve Children in Cooking?
There are so many ways to involve children with cooking! Like I said, as soon as they can mix something with a spoon you can involve them. What they can do to help will depend on their age. As they get older you can have them start doing the harder parts of the job. When they're really little, have them mix all of the ingredients together in the bowl after you pour them in. You can measure out ingredients and have THEM pour them into the bowl then mix it. When they get older, start having them measure ingredients, crack the eggs, grease the pan, and/or pour the batter. Get them a children's cook book so they can choose their own easy recipes to make with your supervision. I had one and I always made the homemade mac n cheese!
What Can I Bake With Kids At Home?
You can bake anything! Like I mentioned before, give your kids the appropriate task based on their age. I mentioned a few times we love making banana bread so I thought I'd share the recipe.
Banana Bread Recipe
4 Large Ripe Bananas
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs Beaten
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 Cups Flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In one bowl mash all of the bananas with a fork until they're all broken up. Once they're mashed add the eggs, softened butter, vanilla and mix it altogether until combined.
In a second bowl add flour, baking powder, salt and mix.
Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredient mixture and combined. Do not over mix.
Spray a loaf pan with oil spray and then pour the batter mix.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until center is cooked and a toothpick can be poked in and come out clean
Transfer to a cooling rack and after it's cooled wrap in plastic wrap to keep it moist between each meal