Baking with Your Kids: Let Them Create Their Own Recipes

I’d like to first apologize for the tardiness of this post.  Sweet Phenomena was suffering from a little SNAFU today…

This is probably one of my favorite things to let Babydoll do in the kitchen.

She enjoys being able to go in there and just make something unique, and usually, I enjoy eating it.

This is something great to do together, but this is also an area where I like to give a gentle nudge, and then step back.  It’s more fun to watch those cogs working in her head than to be in there with my years of experience.

It can be messy though.  And sometimes you might need to rein them in a bit.

So how do you keep things manageable without stifling creativity?

Discuss Guidelines & Safety Beforehand

This isn’t a discussion you’ll need to have every single time they go into the kitchen.

But, you should do it right, the first time, so that everyone is clear on what is and isn’t OK, what is expected, etc.

  • Teach them about kitchen safety.  Even if they’re “too old” to sit and listen to this discussion, have it anyway.  If they’re past the age of wondering whether or not a knife can hurt you, focus on things such as the proper way to put out a grease fire and how to operate the fire extinguisher.
  • Discuss off-limits ingredients, techniques, and supplies.  You probably don’t want your minor in the kitchen messing around with the liquor, or doing anything inside that involves an open flame.  Discuss what they should not touch or do under any circumstances so there’s no question later.
  • Discuss what isn’t off limits.  Don’t be a downer.  Sure, they need to be told what they can’t do, but offer some encouragement too!  Let them know they can use “x,” “y,” and “z.”  Maybe they hadn’t thought of using that!
  • Set clear expectations for the cleanliness of your kitchen when they’re done.  If you expect to get the kitchen back completely cleaned up, tell them.  Don’t assume that they’ll think to put everything away and clean up after themselves.

Get Them Their Own Supplies

Kids love having their “own” stuff.  That’s why places sell little kitchens, pots and pans, cars, etc.

Not only can having their own supplies keep your kids out of your prized pans and utensils, but it can also give them a sense of importance and purpose.  Let’s face it, we all like having our own stuff and we generally appreciate it and take care of it more when it’s our own.

Don’t just stop at pots and pans though.  Get them their own cookbooks {great for inspiration}, recipe cards, aprons, oven mitts, kitchen timers, utensils, etc.

Eat What They Make

Unless it’s going to physically make you severely ill or kill you, suck it up and eat what they’ve made.

Sometimes they might present you with something that is just a little out there, but nothing is worse than seeing that defeated look on their face when you refuse to eat what they’ve lovingly prepared for you.

Just do it folks, it won’t kill you.  Hopefully.

A Recipe from Babydoll

Babydoll decided to go in the kitchen one day to make me chocolate truffles.  She knows how much I love chocolate, and she wanted to make something super-chocolaty.

Below you’ll find her recipe for Nutella truffles {it’s so easy!}.