Baking for Kids

Spending quality time with kids is extremely important, especially in this day and age when parents have so little time to spare. The best quality time is when parents have fun with their kids while teaching them something valuable.Kids like to get down and dirty so any activity that allows them to work with their hands is always a hit. Baking is one activity that most kids will find interesting and fun.
If you haven't tried baking with your kids, give it a try. Children as young as two to three years can participate and do simple tasks like decorating and pouring ingredients. Start with simple recipes that use a few ingredients without having to use any complicated techniques.Before getting started, assess the abilities of your children based on their age and plan accordingly. "

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How to Bake with Your Kids

Baking with parents is not only fun for kids but it is also an educational experience. If you go about it right, your kids might even love the art of baking when they get older. Some things that will help you make baking fun for your kids:
Plan ahead: Decide what you're going to make before stepping into the kitchen. Choose something that your kids like, especially in the beginning. Making something that they love to eat will keep your kids motivated.
Explain the recipe: It would probably be a breeze for you but since kids don't know what to expect, read and explain the entire recipe to them. This includes all the preparation required for the recipe.
Assign tasks: If you have more than one child - especially of different age groups - decide who is going to do what task. Assign tasks according to their age and abilities. For example, very young kids can do pouring and stirring while older kids can accomplish tasks like measuring and blending.
Equipment and tools: These are some of the basic tools and equipment needed for baking with kids:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Rubber spatula 
  • Separate measuring cups for dry and liquid ingredients
  • Egg beater
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoons
  • Baking pans for cookies and cakes

Walk kids through the process: Make sure you explain every step of the recipe to your kids because many things may be self explanatory to you but may be entirely new for your kids. Tell them how different tools and appliances are used such as the blender and the oven.
Cleanliness: It's very easy for kids to get carried away with so many things around to make a mess.Get them into the habit of cleaning as each task is finished so that there's not a lot of cleaning left to do at the end. Spreading newspapers on countertops can significantly help to reduce the mess. Also, have kids wear aprons so they don't get their clothes dirty.
Turn a frown upside down: Working with kids in the kitchen requires lot of patience because they can't help making a mess.Have a sense of humor and let them enjoy their time without letting things get out of control.

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Safety in the Kitchen

There are many things in the kitchen that can be dangerous and hazardous for small children.Be careful and take all necessary precautions, however don't get paranoid because it will spoil all the fun.
Hot appliances: Fire is an integral part of the kitchen so teach the kids about fire safety and about using appliances like the cooking range and other electrical appliances. Tell them to be careful when handling hot pans and baking trays.Make sure they fully understand the safety precautions and are actually following them every time.The best way to do this is to lead by example.
Sharp objects: Don't allow children younger than 8-9 years of age to handle sharp objects like knives. Even at that age they should be supervised when they are using a knife.Teach them to never wave a knife or run with a knife in hand.For many baking tasks, metal knives are not necessary and a plastic knife or butter knife can also be used.
Slips and falls: Slips and falls are very common in the kitchen because the floor easily gets wet and slippery.Make sure and teach your kids to clean up spills immediately and to always walk carefully in the kitchen.The kitchen is no place for horseplay.Kids should not try to climb on countertops to get stuff.

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