You Can Help Your Child Become a Master Baker: Just Be Smart About It
by Pecorari Elisa
Who doesn’t like doing all sorts of activities with their kid? From sports to board games and beyond, parents who interact with their kids frequently raise more functional adults. One activity that every parent should consider doing with their child is cooking. They may love getting their hands a little messy, learning their way around the kitchen, and mimicking your every chef-like move. It could even help them become a less fussy eater!
Teaching your child the ins and outs of cooking is a great way to set them up for success in life, and if you love it, you might even turn it into a sideline business of your own. Helping others learn proper handling of ingredients, get comfortable with various cooking methods, and better develop their sense of palate is one of many creative ways to earn a living. Ready to help them tackle their first dish? Here are some tips to get you and your little one started, presented to you below by Baker’s Secret.
Teach Them Kitchen Safety
Kids are reckless. They draw on walls, scrape their knees, and are generally less careful than their grown self would be. For that reason, parents who choose to include their child in kitchen activities must be extra careful.
Kitchen safety begins with cleaning. Wash the countertops and stove tops to ensure there is no remaining grease from previous meal prep that could catch fire. Follow this by checking the devices designed to keep you safe. This includes the smoke detector, ventilation system above a stove, and the fire extinguisher. You may even want to teach your child to use the extinguisher should something unforeseen happen to you.
Parents who are cooking and/or baking with their kids need to take special safety measures. First and foremost, do not leave the child unattended in the kitchen for any significant length of time once you have begun. Additionally, it’s recommended that you turn pot handles away from the edge of the counter, as you or your kid could grab onto them, resulting in a spill and a potentially nasty burn.
Enforce Healthy Kitchen Sanitation
Talk to your child about the importance of hand washing before handling anything, and especially after handling raw meat and eggs. You should also explain the danger of not cooking certain foods thoroughly enough before consuming them, and instruct your child to never taste a treat-in-progress without your permission.
Love to Know notes there are a number of ways you can address kitchen sanitation, from avoiding cross contamination to sanitizing work surfaces and beyond. With a few precautions, cooking and baking with kids can be an enjoyable experience and not a worrisome one.
Prepare for Stress-Free Baking Together
Cooking or baking with your child doesn't have to be stressful if you do a little bit of planning first to minimize stress. Declutter the kitchen so you don't spend time stressing over where you put the mixer. Get your child involved too by helping them organize their own nook or cabinet in the kitchen where they can keep all their kid-friendly baking tools.
Set up regular family kitchen time to make the process fun, but consistent. Kids are more likely to eat what they have a hand in making, so let them help with dinner and dessert. And let them choose from a list of recipe options you’re considering.
If you are baking with more than one child, divide up the tasks so that each child gets to participate equally and feels included. You may also want to pre-measure ingredients to avoid bigger messes that may stress you out.
Which Baking Tools Are Appropriate for Kids?
It is up to a parent to decide what their child is capable of handling while still preventing injury. Create Kids Club recommends that kids first practice with plastic utensils – especially knives – before moving on to the real thing. They also note it’s important to know which knives are appropriate for children of different ages. A parent must decide when the child is ready to handle a real knife and, when they do, to make it blatantly clear how much damage a sharp kitchen knife can do.
All cooks prosper with the right tools, and kids are no different. They benefit from having their own cookware, especially when they are small. They are less apt to hurt themselves on gear that is designed to be age-appropriate. Plus, it’s exciting for kids to have their own gadgets. Then, stock up on fun tools the whole family can use, like cookie stamps and cutters and muffin pans from Baker’s Secret.
Make a child keenly aware of which appliances are giving off heat, and how to avoid them. This includes equipping them with kid-ready oven mitts if you do allow them to handle pots, open the oven, or transport other heat-emitting plates and trays. One device commonly seen as innocent is a mixer, but if a child, or even an adult, gets their hand caught in an active mixer, it could spell a trip to the hospital.
Upgrade Your Kitchen for Function and Style
Upgrading your kitchen to accommodate your child's interest in cooking can be both fun and practical. By creating a child-friendly kitchen, you can encourage your child to explore their culinary interests while teaching them important life skills. Consider incorporating low counters or a step stool to make it easier for your child to access the kitchen tools and ingredients they need.
It's important to pay attention to what's hot in the housing market to ensure you're making the right changes to your kitchen; after all, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake that could cost you a sale.
Opting for timeless design features that appeal to both you and your child can ensure your investment in upgrading the kitchen pays off in the long run. And don’t forget essential elements, like an attractive and functional under-counter range hood to keep the kitchen safe and cooking smells contained. Ultimately, creating a kitchen that's welcoming to your child can help foster their love of cooking and create wonderful memories in the heart of your home.
Start a Small Bakery Business
If your child is interested in cooking and has a passion for creating delicious dishes, starting a business might be a fun and fulfilling way for them to pursue their interests. Some ideas for a kid-friendly culinary business could include starting a small bakery, selling baked goods at local farmer's markets, or even starting a subscription box with their food creations. Your child may also enjoy food photography or writing a food blog.
Encouraging your child to turn their love of cooking into a business can teach them important entrepreneurial skills and help foster their creativity and self-esteem. To help your child succeed, make sure to guide them through each step of the process, from creating a business plan to marketing and selling their products. With the right support and encouragement, your child's culinary dreams can become a reality.
Develop Your Child’s Inner Baker
Teaching a child to cook will increase their self-confidence, help strengthen the bond between parent and child, and may inspire them to one day be the next Duff Goldman or Nadiya Hussain. Who knows? Perhaps one day they’ll be using the skills you taught them to open up a bakery of their own! Kitchen-related activities can be tons of fun, but a child must be taught safety practices first before they can reap the benefits of baking with mom or dad. So pick up some quality baking supplies from Baker’s Secret and start baking together!