As I only have started baking in the past few years I’m still no pro but I certainly enjoy the smell and satisfaction of eating my own baked goods. Not only are they healthier, I get to choose which ingredients I use, but they are also a great afternoon activity with the kids. Here are a few reasons why I believe you should bake with your kids (even though the kitchen will get messy in the process):
1. Increase quality time
This is something we just don’t have enough of – especially in our home. I feel like I’m always chasing after more quality time with my kids. When you bake or cook together, your’e not just in the same room, you are actually spending quality time together. Your children are listening to you, following your instructions, learning, enjoying the process.
2. Explore new foods
How many times have us moms made the best muffins but our kids won’t touch them since they spot a piece of apple sticking out at the top? Once you allow your kids to bake together with you, they are more open to tasting the final result. They may even have fun tasting the ingredients as you go along, and thus learn what exactly goes into the baking process. You can show them the different textures and colors of each ingredient.
3. Teach your kids about a healthy kitchen
If you are seeking to truly advocate to your kids the importance of eating healthy (not only as kids, but as a future lifestyle when they become grown-ups) use baking together as one of those settings. What better way to show them how to use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. Show them how to add each ingredient separately instead of using a cake mix.
4. Boost your children’s self-esteem
I know this may sound a bit over-the-top, however think about the sense of self accomplishment your child has once he or she has baked their own muffin (or cake, or bread). I try to think of the wonderful feeling I have once I see how my baking efforts result in a wonderful loaf of bread. That sense of accomplishment and content is something you want your children to feel as well. Those feelings are part of what nourishes their self-esteem.
5. Independence is key
From my 4 years of being a mother, I have learned that one of the most important skills we can pass on to our kids is independence. It’s crucial. Since our kids grow up in such a different environment than we did (back in the ’80s) and are basically pampered on a daily basis, we should find these moments where we can promote independence. Let your kids do everything by themselves. Let them make mistakes, make a mess, and eventually learn how to get better the next time (they bake or deal with everyday life).