Baking with the kids can be messy but surely full of fun. Aside from the happiness and satisfaction it gives kids, there are a lot of other benefits baking can have on kids. It’s a good way to bond with them and literally eat the fruits or the cakes of your labor after.
If you haven’t baked with your kids until now, it’s never too late to start. You can bake on a weekend as a fun activity, be it cupcakes, brownies, or macarons and see the things they learn from baking. Here are some of the benefits of baking with the kids, or things that baking helps them with.
Develop a Life Skill
As the children grow, we are entirely responsible to nourishing them, we prepare them good food, those that are healthy and not just yummy. At some point, they get curious about how we cook food. It’s a good thing to allow them to help in the kitchen, even with buying ingredients, cutting up veggies, and peeling what needed be. Being curious about how heat cooks food, why a certain amount of salt is used, can develop in them the love for cooking too.
So cooking and baking with the kids will make them learn a life skill that is needed to survive – prepare their own food. This may also make them discover what they would like later on in life, maybe to become chefs or pâtissiers not just for their love of food, but also the process it takes to cook or bake them.
Introduce Reading and Comprehension
If your kid or kids can already read, having them go through the recipe, and making them do what it says allow for them to understand and comprehend instructions. If they are not yet the reading age, you can ask them to do simple things, explaining to them what a particular baking term means.
Introduce Math Concepts
Baking measurements introduces kids to all mathematical equations along with systems of measurements and how it works when you want to produce more, or if you want to tweak the taste of what you are baking. Even smaller kids can learn counting – ask them to bring three eggs, put the timer on the right minutes, and how much flour is needed and put it on the weighing scale exposes them to numbers.
Introduce Science Concepts
Baking is yummy science. The way that the ingredients bind, how the cake takes the shape of its container, how accuracy can make it look perfect and the opposite when you put the wrong measurements is making the kids see cause, factors, and effects. Even the effects of heat can be taught by baking.
Icing a cake or a cupcake also means designing. You can ask the kids to design one and see how they put the concepts in their minds using food color, fondant, or butter cream. They may even use sprinkles and candy pearls to design. Whatever their design may be, it’s one proud moment to see their labor come to fruition.
Exposes them to Different Flavors and Tastes
Kids who bake will learn early how different flours are used to achieve certain softness, how butter and oil affects texture, and how salt and sugar greatly affects the taste of anything they bake.
They will also learn how a little vanilla changes the overall flavor of cookies and cakes. You can also bring to them the culture of different nations by baking and tasting their different culinary offerings.
For example, the kids love Apfelstrudel, a Viennese treat and so we make them once in a while. They know that some recipes don’t use bread crumbs but it does give a different texture when we put them. They also enjoy macarons and they would try it whenever we see them on display racks around the city bakeries. They decided that the ones we make at home are different and better. Here’s a recipe of macarons that we really enjoy.
If you travel and get to savor a particularly yummy treat that city offers, it would be fun to remake it at home.
Teaches The Importance of Following Directions
Aside from comprehension, kids learn the consequences when one doesn’t follow instructions. For example, too much baking powder, a little than required eggs, too much milk, will likely make your cake crumble, and taste weird.
Baking is an exact kind of procedure or science (if it may be called so), kids need to learn this and when they do, they could use this concept to other aspects of life too.
While sugar is not the best to introduce to kids, we hope to still bake with alternatives to sugar. Or probably let them acquire less-sweet tooth? It would be fun if one day sweets and treats aren’t spiking blood sugar as they do now.
Anyway, enjoy baking with the kids, as they grow up fast, there will be wonderful memories they could look back to – those days when they could smell goodies from your kitchen, and the taste of the cakes you all worked hard for to bake.