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Kids in the Kitchen for the Holidays

Some of the fondest memories people have as adults are the times spent in the kitchen with parents and grandparents. Those traditions can be recreated for the current generation by letting them help in the kitchen during the holidays. There are numerous opportunities for kids to help out. Some include:

  • Rolling dough
  • Measuring
  • Stirring ingredients
  • Reading recipes
  • Using cookie cutting tools
  • Decorating holiday treats

Plan for Extra Time

It will take longer when children help in the kitchen so it’s important to set aside extra time. That will enable everyone to enjoy the experience and not feel rushed or frustrated. Don’t be surprised if children wander off at any point, depending upon their age and attention span. The time spent together is the important thing.

It’s Going to be Messy

Expect to break a few eggs – and not necessarily in the bowl where they belong. Children learn by doing and making mistakes. Likewise, there’s no sense in crying over spilled milk, tipped over flour or other mishaps.

Choose Small Projects to Start

Don’t attempt to make every holiday treat at once, choose one or two. Save those that are most complex for a different time. Select cooking projects that have a high degree of success for the child, especially if they’re not accustomed to helping out in the kitchen.

It Doesn’t Have to be Pretty

Don’t expect children to reproduce projects that look like an adult made them. The food doesn’t have to be “pretty” to be delicious. Children want to please and it’s critical that they know their efforts are appreciated. Serve the child’s cookies or other culinary efforts with pride.

The Modern Cook

Making treats from scratch isn’t for everyone and in the interest of saving time many families purchase pre-made cookie dough, pie crusts, and box cake mixes. That’s absolutely fine. There are still ways for children to help in the kitchen and those memories will be equally treasured for years to come. Don’t forget to snap a few photos – they’ll be a cherished reminder.

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