As we enter into fall and “Back to School” season, many kids will still be in a remote learning setting, causing parents to have to put their teaching skills to the test. With Kids Take over the Kitchen Day happening on September 13, we suggest setting aside time during the school day for a “cooking class.” Remember the good ole “Home Ec” days where you and your fellow classmates teamed up to make the classic apple pie, and maybe the crust came out as hard as a rock due to overworking the dough? Even if your pie didn’t come out as good as grandma’s back then, it was an experience you will remember! By getting the kids involved in the kitchen, you too can promote fun and learning, while helping them achieve basic life skills.
We gathered up our best baking tips and tricks in the kitchen. Read on for our baking basics and get easy and yummy recipes to make with the kiddos, tweens, and teens in your life. Let’s get baking and making lasting memories!
1.) Keep it Simple
Choose a recipe that is age-appropriate. For elementary-aged kids, we suggest aiming for recipes with five or fewer ingredients. Tasks can include adding already premeasured ingredients, stirring, spooning out the dough, and basic decorating like frosting cookies. When it comes to the tweens and teens in the kitchen they can usually handle more ingredients, appliances, and problem solving when it comes to determining ratios. Take the moment as an opportunity to teach oven basics, using a mixer, and let them measure out their own ingredients with you in the background supervising like a “cool mom.”
2.) Take Extra Steps for the Mess
With kids, mess is inevitable. We know this, and it is OKAY! Take precautions by creating a clear, clean workplace. Set down a plastic table cloth before you get started and make sure everyone participating has their aprons on. If it helps, have your kids dressed in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty just in case an “accident” does happen. Take a breath and know that it might be a messy project when including your new young chefs, but in the end, it is all about having fun and embracing something new!
3.) Stay Clean
Keeping clean and staying healthy is important, especially now more than ever! Give a lesson in food safety and show why it matters. Practice hand washing before and after, load dirty dishes into the dishwasher throughout the process instead of just piling them in the sink, and explain to them the importance of cleanliness and proper hygiene in life and when in the kitchen.
4.) Let them pick out the recipe
Let’s be honest, kids can be picky and their likes are always changing. Show them a list of recipe ideas and let them decide what to make. This will help keep them engaged in the task at hand and create an enjoyable experience because you are making something that “they chose.”
5.) Read the recipe first
Lead by example by walking your kids through the recipe before the measuring or baking begins. Ask your kids questions and talk about the steps, ingredients, and baking times. One fun idea to get the kids even more involved as you prep for this “class” is to let them help you create the grocery shopping list for the recipe you choose and go to the store together. It may sound simple, but it is a way for them to learn how stores are laid out as you cruise down the aisles and prep them for when they someday have to do shopping on their own!
Here is a list of our favorite, easy, and kid-friendly making recipes to try with the suggested age level!
For the elementary-aged chefs:
Bubble Gum Fudge
You’ll think you should be able to blow bubbles when you taste this child-friendly fudge.
Apple Pie Trifle
By far the simplest recipe because it doesn’t even require turning on the oven. This no-bake recipe is a great starter recipe for kids who are new to making in the kitchen. Top off with ground cinnamon and apple slices to make a flavorful and quick snack to enjoy in between class breaks.
Candy Rainbow Dust
This recipe is made for the unicorn and rainbow fans. Make tasty magic with this cereal treat that includes our Cotton Candy Super Strength flavors.
Sometimes less really is more! These cute, bite-sized cookie cups are easy to make because the recipe calls for “ready to bake” sugar cookie dough.
Cherrific Crispy Treats
These stress-free marshmallow treats are packed with a cherry punch and drizzled with white chocolate to add the finishing touch. You could say it is the cherry on top!
For the tweens/teens chefs looking for more independence and responsibilities:
Hot Apple Pie Dip
This dip is just what you need to warm up on a cold day. Cream cheese sweetened with cinnamon brown sugar is given a boost with LorAnn’s Apple Pie flavoring. Top with chopped pecans and apples.
Oatmeal Cinnamon Blast Cookies
Chewy, flaky, and buttery this recipe adds just the right bite of spice. Recipe Tip: Use either dried cranberries or cherries or a combo of both for a different spin on the classic oatmeal raisin cookie.
Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Now you can have your cake and eat it too, with ice cream! Our Super Strength Root Beer is a powerful burst of flavor without having to add sugary pop or caffeine to the mix.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Grab the taste of fall with this recipe! Making yeast dough from scratch takes a bit of time, but these scrumptious rolls are worth the wait and a great recipe for the older teen who is excited to grow their baking skills and learn a new recipe.