Baking can be challenging, especially for someone with little or no kitchen experience.
However, determination, effort and enthusiasm go a long way. Combine that with a capable (and patient) teacher, and baking can be a wonderful and rewarding learning experience for any willing pupil.
Kids may find it particularly more challenging, especially with an activity that requires patience and nothing less than your full attention.
That’s why we put together 5 tips to give kids a head start on their baking journey.
Depending on your kid’s age, research can mean anything from watching baking shows on TV or YouTube (with your supervision, of course) to reading books on baking or surfing the net for some inspiration. Better yet, if anyone in your family bakes, just let your child observe and ask questions.
#2 Handle with Care
Baking involves handling utensils and kitchen equipment. While some of these may be harmless, such as measuring spoons and cups, sharp knives and hot ovens are far from it.
Carelessness can lead to serious accidents like cuts and burns, so make sure you give your children tasks you know they can handle. Teens are more likely to be trusted to properly use baking equipment, but younger kids should always be supervised.
#3 Stick to the Plan
Of course, being careful isn’t just about tools and equipment. It also refers to measuring ingredients and following instructions.
It’s always good practice to read through the recipe before you start. Baking is a step by step process, and you can’t move on to step 3 if you flubbed step 2.
Mistakes are normal and are one of the best ways to learn. If your child is just starting out, mistakes will happen, and guess what? That’s OK! Consider it motivation to get it right on the next try.
Stick to the plan and their baking journey is sure to end on a yummy note. Once they’ve learned the ropes, only then can they start improvising.
#4 Have Fun
Learning something new may prove challenging, but hey, turn down the self-pressure because this is not a contest.
Encouragement builds self-esteem, and your kids will absolutely love you for praising their efforts regardless of the outcome.
Learning something is so much easier when you’re having a ball doing it.
#5 Don’t be Scared
Baking can be daunting for any beginner.
If you’re enrolling your children in a class, their initial fears will most likely be about making friends. Much like the first day of school, stepping into a class full of strangers can be scary. But a class is also a great way to meet new people.
If they’re learning at home, they may be wary to disappoint Mom or Dad.
They will look to you for assurance. Get them excited at the prospect of learning something new to give them that extra boost of confidence. Manage their expectations, tell them it’s OK to make mistakes, and make sure they know that the most important thing is to have fun.
If you think about it, you’re not just preparing your kids for baking classes; these 5 tips apply to life in general.
You’ll be helping your children deal with the real world, armed with a thirst for knowledge. They will learn to be vigilant, determined and focused, gain an appreciation for life’s simple joys, and have the courage to face their fears.
What’s more, you’ll empower them with the skills and knowledge to create something that’s simply delicious! —GDT