Baking with toddlers
Is such a fun thing to do! Mainly because you get to eat cakes and biscuits and lick the cake mix off the spoon (toddler is still too young for the raw egg in it of course) And toddler’s lunch is sorted for that day too because if it’s home made its healthy right?
After a few attempts at baking with toddler here are some things I’ve learned that will make it all easier. Oh and I’m a shit cook and our things have always turned out ok. Actually I think it helps to be a bit shit as there’s no perfectionism or expectations involved – I’m normally happy if anything I make looks like a 2 year old has made it so if a toddler is actually involved it can’t get any worse!
1. Pre-make as much as possible.
Ok this sounds like it defeats the object but an amazing Martha Stewart type friend taught me this when I invited her over to join in our bake off and she came prepared. She’d already made a gingerbread dough – the little ones got to do the fun bits with the rolling pin and the cookie cutters. And she had a bliss ball mix all made up so all our toddlers had to do was roll the balls and dip in the coconut. Saved us loads of time and mess – and was just enough activity to hold their attention before they wandered off to destroy another part of the house.
2. No bake baking.
Again you might say is this not defeating the object and the answer probably depends on what your goal is 🙂
You may have also noticed that toddlers work on an instant gratification model and aren’t great at waiting or understanding hot ovens so quick and easy is always good. The bliss balls from point #1 are a great example of this – they get to hone their fine motor skills rolling out and dipping the balls and the whole process is edible and ready for immediate consumption (lunch sorted!)
Taking point one a little bit further – those cupcakes in a box are absolutely fab for little ones – simply crack an egg and add some water – mix and spoon into cupcake holders – all included in the box. Impossible to stuff up. No weighing or messing around required and toddler can do everything. They normally come with little edible stickers in the box too that is always a fave part of the bake for my little one. One of these mixes is brilliant to have in the pantry for a quick and easy rainy day activity. With the added benefit of getting to eat lots of cake during nap time.
4. Prepare for mess
Don’t even try and avoid it. Don’t bake on a day you’re feeling tired or stressy as it won’t be fun for anyone. Let your little one do as much as possible and don’t worry if more ends up on the floor than in the oven – if you even get one edible cupcake to share it will so much more of an achievement than if you had sat your little one down to watch as you stirred, rolled and portioned out. Give them the spoon, whisk and cookie cutters and get the camera out!
I hope you have as much fun as we have – please comment with your ideas or recipes below!