Baking with kids can be fun & healthy
With schools closed parents everywhere are looking for ways to keep children healthy and occupied. To nurture kids through this these crazier times with less structure yet loads of fun, we highly recommend rolling your sleeves up and getting creative in the kitchen!
Baking together is a great way to teach important skills and strengthen family ties. Kitchen tasks provide children with a chance to measure, count and see how ingredients change, giving you a fun way to introduce some maths and science into the day.
The benefits of baking with kids
The kitchen is a place to nurture your child’s confidence as it provides many opportunities to encourage and celebrate their work. Children feel a great sense of pride when they feel they’ve successfully prepared a bake for themselves or their family.
Baking for Health
One of the best things you can do for your child’s health is to cook at home. Those who eat home-cooked food on a regular basis tend to consume less processed foods and thus be healthier. Furthermore, cooking and baking with children can help them to develop adventurous and varied taste palates. By giving children exposure to new ingredients and the opportunity to learn cooking processes they will become more willing to try new foods.
If you’re looking to bake a sweet treat, then Food Thought’s products make the perfect ingredients! Unlike many other chocolate brands, our cocoa powder is lightly alkalised, and we do not add any sugar. In fact, cacao powder and roaster nibs contain more calcium than cow’s milk and have 50 times more vitamin C than blueberries. Learn more about the health benefits of cacao here.
Baking for Education
The kitchen is a perfect environment for learning. Younger children can develop their fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills by stirring, measuring, rolling, squeezing and spreading. Describing what you are doing to young children and introducing them to new words and terms can also help with language development.
For older children the benefits are numerous. Following a recipe requires reading practice and develops many mathematical skills; number recognition, counting, mathematical language, multiplication, weighing and fractions. You can even turn your kitchen into a mini science lab! Get children to observe ingredients as they change colour, texture and form and ask them to make predictions and observations e.g. what happens if you use too much or too little baking powder or the wrong temperature?
Baking for Creativity & Connection
Baking is a fantastic way for children to express their creativity, through recipe development and presentation. Let them decide how to flavour a bake or decorate the cake.
The kitchen is a great place for families to spend quality time together. It can be a place to talk about family traditions and recipes, or a place just to catch up with day to day life. Eating together as a family is well known to have many benefits as mealtimes offer time to talk, listen and build family relationships.
Last but by no means least, cooking with kids can be fun! Your kids will get the joy of baking and eating the end result, whilst you create lasting memories that you can treasure forever.
Staying safe while you’re baking with kids
Children need supervision when they’re in the kitchen. Remember to:
- Give frequent reminders about what’s OK to touch and which items can hurt them
- Talk about which kitchen tasks are for grown-ups and which are for kids
- Establish kitchen rules, such as washing hands and not touching stove knobs or knives
When baking with younger kids, choose a time when they’re well-rested and not easily frustrated and consider starting with simple dishes with fewer than five ingredients. Older kids can take cooking to the next level and work with you on more challenging recipes, but they will still need safety reminders, especially if they’re working with appliances and knives, or the hob/oven.
Use versatile, uncomplicated ingredients such as Food Thoughts Luxury Dark Chocolate Chips (70% cacao) and Food Thoughts Luxury White Chocolate Chips (35% cacao). Our chocolate chips are shaped so they can be heated and melted quickly, easily and consistently. Their velvet sheen finish and clean snap make them ideal for many chocolate recipes. And the lighter sweetness of the white chocolate chips makes them a better balanced option for any baking goods. They are also perfect for fillings and decorating cakes, desserts and fruit (including dipping, drizzling, dripping and coating).
Remember that children cannot be counted on to be neat in the kitchen! To make your experience together more enjoyable, allow for some extra mess and try to be patient. If everything doesn’t go perfectly, try to keep the mood light. If you have a baking disaster, offer some guidance and let your child try again. Little by little, children will gain cooking skills, and feel great once they’re mastered.
For a range of recipes suitable to bake with kids click here
We’ve deliberately chosen the recipes below as they include mainly staple, store cupboard ingredients (which you may already have to hand) and Food Thoughts products, which you can also purchase from our online shop. They are simple and quick to make so you don’t have to motivate your kids for too long. Bake and enjoy with these recipes will take less than an hour tops!
Here are a few recipes to inspire you and get the littles one to bake
These are probably the world’s most chocolatey brownies with no actual chocolate in the mix 😎. Food Thoughts Organic Cacao Powder more than compensates for the lack of melted chocolate in this perfectly fudgy brownie. And the best bit is that kids can decorate them for Easter using tinny chocolate eggs or multi-coloured shapes chocolate buttons.
A good day starts with a great breakfast. And this chocolatey yet light & fluffy pancakes is just the thing! Not just pancakes, but pancakes stack layered with homemade chocolate spread 😋 This pancake recipe uses Food Thoughts Organic Cocoa Powder and Food Thoughts Luxury Dark Chocolate Chips (70% cacao) but you can replace the dark chips with Food Thoughts Luxury White Chocolate Chips (35% cacao) for a lighter vanilla taste.
These super chocolatey flapjacks are really easy to make and are great to have available as a snack – at any time of the day!! And if the flapjacks themselves were not chocolatey enough, you can melt some extra chocolate for a topping!
Create this little chocolatey booms with your children and let them prepare their own warm chocolate drink after school. Just keep an eye on them as they may end up drinking more than one cup 🙈