Parents are not only working from home. They are homeschooling their kids, too. Families have never spent as much time together as they did since the pandemic started in March. So, it’s safe to say that parents now need to find activities that will make the most of all this time they are spending together. What’s a great way to bond? Psychologists and experts said cooking and baking with your kids is a great bonding activity. It will also teach them valuable life lessons and skills.
Don’t worry, if cooking isn’t your forte. You can learn with your kids and take these lessons with them when they decide to attend gap year programs in any part of the world. Learning how to whip up their favourite desserts from scratch will teach them the value of patience and perseverance. Studies showed that children who learn how to cook and bake at an early age are less likely to eat processed food. They live healthier and happier lives because they find enjoyment in cooking and baking.
So, where do you begin? That’s the first question. How do you start teaching your kids some basics about baking their favourite chocolate chip cookies?
Let Them Watch Cooking Shows
Cupcake Wars, Just Desserts, and Kids Baking Championship are just some shows that you can let your kids and teens watch. Allow their interest to grow first before introducing them to measuring cups, whisks, rubber spatula, rolling pin, and so much more. Those kids baking some crazy desserts on TV will make them want to try baking, too.
Make It a Game
Bring the whole family together by turning this into a game. Do a family cooking challenge. You can group yourselves into two. Let your partner supervise the other group. Pick a theme and let the little ones decide what you will do. For example, your theme can be the favourite dessert of their favourite character. Cookie Monster of Sesame Street loves cookies. That’s something of a challenge. Both groups should think about what cookie will Cookie Monster like more.
You can also up the challenge if the game involves older kids or even your teenagers. Let them search for recipes online and then challenge them to replicate those recipes using only what you have in the pantry. So, if they are making chocolate cupcakes but you don’t have eggs for it, let them use canned lentils instead. See what they can come up with.
Allow Them to Take the Lead
Are you having trouble making your kids eat healthy meals? Perhaps, you can find desserts that will incorporate fruits and vegetables into your kids’ meals. And more, allowing the kids to take the lead in choosing what snacks to have will also make them eat better.
For example, you can write down recipes on pieces of paper, roll them, and put them in a mason jar. Let the kids pick one and do it with them. Or, you can create a menu where they will choose what to have for breakfast—pancakes with berries, French toasts with jam, or waffles and chicken in maple syrup.
For the time being, the government and health experts are encouraging you to stay at home. While you heed that call, spend as much time together with your family. Don’t take this period in your life for granted. When you teach them to bake, do it with them. Don’t hand the whisk and let them figure things out for themselves. Part of why learning to bake is fun for kids is because their parents will spend time learning with them, too.
While baking, you can teach your kids valuable life lessons such as patience (when letting the bread dough rise) and perseverance (when the first batch of cookies didn’t come out right). You can talk about a lot of things, too. You’ll learn about how they react to certain things. Take note of these things and speak to them about their lack of patience in the future. Conversations while baking are the best. Turn this bonding activity into an opportunity to get to know your kids better.
Play it cool when learning how to bake with your children. Don’t put pressure on them to make perfectly-shaped cookies. Remember that this is a bonding activity. While the kids can learn a lot of things with baking, focus on the fun aspect of this activity. The point of learning with them is to have fun and, for a moment, forget how chaotic the world is.