I’m Anne and I blog over on Raisiebay.com. I’m always in the kitchen baking cakes with my kids and I am really excited to share this post with you. I’ve been blogging for many years, mostly about my family, but I also love baking and cake decorating. Apart from the cooking we are a family coming to terms with my middle daughter’s disabilities, but no matter what she goes through she always has a smile. I often allow my kids have their turn in the kitchen and I’ve watched them grow from decorating cupcakes and biscuits to cooking their own lunch. They are learning life skills and a passion for cooking that I hope will continue to grow.
I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned while baking cakes with my kids.
1. Start with hygiene. Teach them the importance of handwashing, before they start cooking and inbetween using raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
2. Know that with their help it’s going to take longer and allow for this. The more they cook the quicker and easier it will be for them, but in the beginning it seems to take forever.
3. Plan ahead, get everything ready for them and do as much preparation as possible especially when they are really young.
4. Be prepared for mess, and lots of it. If it can be spilled it will be, that’s almost a guarantee when kids are helping. The more little hands you have in there, the more mess there will be.
5. Teach them to clean up their mess..make it fun and they will do it. See, it’s not all that bad.
6. Take into consideration the child’s age. Smaller children will get bored quickly so save them fun easy jobs like rolling pastry, kneeding dough, cutting shapes or filling cupcake cases. They will love these jobs. Older children will be able to help with measuring ingredients, cutting up food, stirring and mixing.
7. Kids get bored. It can be frustrating but it happens, they will just say they’ve had enough and stop co-operating half way through a recipe. I’ve felt like that half way through cooking dinner but I’m an adult and I don’t have other pressing things to get on with like playing out with my friends, watching cartoons or playing Minecraft.
8. Keep them safe. Until they are old enough, or experienced enough then it’s an adults job to put things in and take them out the oven, or stir hot pans on the hob. Keep pan handles facing inwards and sharp knives out of the way. Make sure they have something safe to stand on if they are not high enough to reach the counter. Don’t leave them unattended (even if you are not doing anything hot…I made the mistake of leaving mine to break up some chocolate once..oh my, never again!)