People continue to be anxious, bored, and stressed out as the quarantine game drags on. Kids are left learning at home instead of school. Parents struggle to balance work, childcare, and housework. Some even started working remotely, giving little-to-no boundary between their work and personal life. For some families, their extracurricular activities are what’s keeping them sane during these challenging times.
Every day, parents try to keep kids engaged with different activities. Some turned to backyard gardening, while others opted for daily family game nights. But the majority of households here and abroad are quarantine baking through the COVID-19 crisis.
Many parents got their kids to love baking which can be a fun way to bond with the family. There are age-appropriate tasks you can assign to each member. Together, you can craft different kinds of baked goodies that you can share with the family.
Why Baking Can Be a Good Activity for the Whole Family
Baking offers numerous benefits aside from the fact that you get to eat yummy bread, cakes, and cookies. Baking helps our senses work in unison. It allows us to exercise all of our senses, resulting in us feeling good and accomplished.
It can be a great way for the family to bond and get creative. Each one can help in their own little ways and enjoy the fruits of their labor at the end of a baking session. It can also be a great way to serve healthy food to your family instead of fried snacks, sugary sweets, and other junk foods.
Baking involves exact measurements, repetitive tasks, and a focused mind, making it a meditative task. It can calm you down, give you peace of mind, and eases negative thoughts. It may take a while before you master a recipe or two, but the sense of achievement you can enjoy after each successful attempt gives your confidence morale a great boost.
How Baking Can Negatively Impact One’s Health
Anything that involves the use of high temperatures can be a safety hazard. But this is not the only way baking can harm one’s health. Prolonged standing can lead to back and foot pain, leg tiredness, and body fatigue.
Baking can, in a way, ruin your waistline if you indulge yourself with too many baked goodies. If you prefer sweet ingredients, this can also ruin your teeth. But there are other reasons why sometimes, baking can take a toll on your health.
For one, people who bake a lot often buy their ingredients in bulk. When you have lots of baking ingredients, tools, and equipment in your cart, this can mean you are carrying all the weight from your cart to your car and your car to your pantry. If you keep on packing a heavyweight in your bag, you can end up hurting your back and shoulders and may require the help of a chiropractor to help ease the pain.
Poor posture when whisking, kneading, and mixing ingredients can lead to an achy back, neck, hips, and hands. If your working surface is too high or too low, this can also pose many issues. The same goes is you store your ingredients on shelves that are too high or too low, causing you to bend or reach over multiple times.
Then there’s what we call baker’s asthma. One who doesn’t have an asthma diagnosis can develop symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness of the chest when baking. This can be triggered due to the inhalation of flour dust or due to exposure to molds, eggs, yeast, sesame seeds, nuts, etc.
Don’t forget that some people can be allergic to ingredients commonly used in baking. This includes eggs, nuts, milk, etc. if you are not careful, you can end up serving baked goodies to a family member or loved one allergic to one of these ingredients and trigger their allergies.
Avoiding Baking Health Hazards
There are ways you can make baking fun and exciting without putting your health at risk. First, make sure you are very careful with how you use the oven and how you handle freshly baked goodies out of the oven. If you or a loved one has a food allergy, make sure to label your ingredients and baked products, use alternatives, or avoid baking food with ingredients they are allergic to.
If you have baking asthma, use protective equipment like a mask and make use of low-dust flours. When storing, carrying, and handling heavy tools and equipment or when shopping for baking ingredients in bulk, lift heavy objects the right way. Place ingredients in areas where you can reduce the need to bend or reach over.
If you can’t replace your countertop to ensure it is the right height, make some modifications to avoid back strain. You can spread your legs while working if the working space is too low. If it is too high, you can use a step stool to increase your height instead.
Baking can help you and your family keeps our sanity during the pandemic. But it pays to be extra careful if you don’t want the dark side of baking to ruin your baking experience. Get the most out of the perks of baking by keeping these tips in mind.