If you’re looking for an enjoyable way to spend a few hours with your kids this March Break, consider bringing them into the kitchen to whip up a delicious treat!
Teaching your kids how to cook equips them with a valuable skill — and there are a number of recipes that are particularly suitable for little helping hands. An added bonus? You might find your picky eater isn’t so picky once they’ve taken part in making their own meal.
Be sure to give your little ones jobs that are age-appropriate. For younger children, stirring batter, adding ingredients to the bowl, and cracking eggs could be tasks they could help with. If your kids are older, and comfortable using a small knife, allow them to help you cut up vegetables for soup or chili. Be sure that they’re using a secure cutting board — we like to keep ours in one place by placing a damp paper towel on the kitchen counter, and then placing the board over top. You, as the parent, are on oven duty!
Here, we share a few of our favourite kid-friendly baking and cooking projects.
Cookies: Baking up cookies is one job your kids won’t mind helping with — mainly because they know what’s in store once those warm, gooey creations come out of the oven. Chocolate chip cookies are a classic choice, but we particularly love these Chocolate fudge cookies with toffee and dried cherries from Regan Daley. The lovely Ms. Daley also contributed these White chocolate tropical chunk cookies. For a basic cookie recipe that can be jazzed up with sprinkles, icing, dulce de leche, and all sorts of other fun things, try Claire Tansey’s Vanilla icebox sugar cookies. Your little ones can help you ice these lovely Black & white cookie hearts from the Sweet Potato Chronicles’ Ceri and Laura. Or, have them cut out fun cookie shapes to make ice cream sandwiches!
Pancakes: Adults love this breakfast staple as much as kids do, and the ease of whipping up a batch makes it a perfect kid-friendly kitchen project. Little ones can help measure out and add flour and sugar to the bowl, crack eggs, and of course stir up the batter. Our favourites? Well, the spice mix in these Pumpkin pie pancakes from the Looneyspoons makes them utterly divine. We adore Mairlyn Smith for making Chocolate pancakes with strawberry sauce. (Genius, right?) And the Sweet Potato Chronicles’ Corn pancakes can be served with fruit for an added nutritional boost.
Iced cakes and cupcakes: A frosted cake is a great afternoon project — first the little ones can assist with the cake batter, then they can help ice the finished cake. It’s messy, but they’ll love it! We have a number of layer cakes that you might want to bake with your children, including Claire Tansey’s recent carrot layer cake with white chocolate frosting. (Our whole office loved this one!) Or try this simple but foolproof vanilla cake with vanilla frosting — and buy candies, sprinkles or cookie bits so that your kids can have fun decorating it. If you like your cakes mini, try these Babycakes from Ceri of Sweet Potato Chronicles. Alternately, the fun is all in the frosting for these chocolate muffins with vanilla marshmallow frosting.
Muffins: One thing to be careful of when your kids help you make muffins is that you don’t want the batter over-mixed (it can make the resulting muffins tough). So give them a helping hand when they’re stirring the wet and dry ingredients together to make sure you don’t overdo it! Try these pina colada muffins, full of tropical flavours. Or these pumpkin muffins, brimming with autumn spices. Raspberry oat bran muffins have health appeal and a terrific taste, while Double chocolate muffins are extra moist due to the addition of pumpkin.
Do-it-yourself pizzas: Either make your own pizza dough (here’s Claire Tansey’s recipe), or buy dough from the grocery store, and set up an assembly station at home so that your kids can make their own personalized pizzas. They’ll have fun spooning on the sauce, adding pepperoni and veggies, and of course lots of cheese!