For many parents, today, spending time with their little ones in the kitchen and showing them the ropes is a beautiful and meaningful way to bond.
Even for me, getting on the same page with my kids was easier when we were chatting and hanging out in the kitchen :)
If you want to introduce your children to the kitchen and want to make sure their first experience is one they’ll always remember, you can’t go wrong with baking! Based on the countless lessons I’ve organized for kids, I know that many have a natural knack for it.
That said, there are a few things you need to know before you get started, especially if this is a passion you want to nurture. They say first impressions matter, and it’s true even in the kitchen!
If you’re stressed out, unprepared or don’t have enough patience for your little ones, you’re not going to create an experience they’ll want to repeat.
Make sure you’re following a few kids’ baking tips I’ve picked up over the years and use them to show your kids the joys of baking :)
Let your kids choose the recipe
As well-meaning parents, we tend to make decisions for our kids even without meaning to. If you’re embarking on an exciting baking project with your little one, put the power in their hands and let them choose a recipe they’re excited about :)
I’ve seen that this little step gives them a sense of ownership over this process. You can be sure they’ll be much more invested and excited about the outcome!
If you only want to make sure that your kids choose something practical, choose a few recipes you think they’ll like and ask them to choose one.
Expect things to get messy—and show your kids that that’s okay
A messy kitchen is something many of us hate seeing, especially after a long day’s work! That said, you need to understand that getting messy is all part and parcel of baking with your kids.
Make sure your little baker understands that messes are natural and that it’s completely fine as long as it doesn’t get in the way of baking safely.
When you combine this little nugget of advice with teaching them the virtues of cleaning up (more on that in my next point!), you take them through the joys and responsibilities of baking things you love to eat.
Dear parents, don’t skip the cleanup!
Anyone who’s had their kids do classes with me or follows my blog knows that I love talking about this all-important cleanup, just as much as I love to do my baking :)
Your kids are naturally going to find the cleanup boring, but it’s a great opportunity for you to make sure they understand that there’s a little bit of work that goes into doing what they love.
When you make clearing up after themselves part of this learning journey, they pick up on the sense of responsibility they need to become great cooks and bakers.
Make sure you’re setting an example
Something I’ve realized is very important for any parent teaching kids their way around the kitchen is leading by example.
If you give your kids certain instructions, really drive in the message by committing to those steps yourself. This is especially important when it comes to things like kitchen safety basics—if your kids don’t see you do it, chances are, they’re not going to do it either.
My tip to parents trying their kids out in the kitchen for the first time is to make sure your kids see you doing the right things, following the recipe carefully, and waiting patiently for the results. This way, they’ll learn everything they need to know!
Good luck with your next kids’ baking project
I hope the tips I’ve outlined make your next baking adventure with your little ones much more successful in all the ways that matter :) What’s most important is that you have a great time.
In this process, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the goodies you whip up with your kids!
Before founding Bake Austin, Pascal Simon earned her degree as a Pastry Chef from the prestigious Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. A mother of two, Pascal is passionate about cultivating the next generation of bakers and welcomes children from all schooling backgrounds, whether public, private or homeschooled.