Baking traditions with kids
Many families enjoy baking together at Christmas time, but the holidays aren't the only time for baking with your children. Follow these tips to create baking traditions and fun memories with your kids anytime of year.
Make Saturday afternoon cookies
Pick a day of the week and make it baking day with your kids. Children of all ages love baking cookies, pies and cakes, so why not make it a weekly or monthly family tradition? Try your hand at new recipes while teaching your kids about some of your favorites. From the time children are toddlers, they can help with stirring and rolling the dough.
By the time they are teens, they can take over the kitchen while you kick back and watch.
Check out some of our favorite cookie recipes >>
Create generational favorites
Family recipes that are passed down from generation to generation are a great way to connect your family with its ancestors. If you have a recipe for your grandma's bread or great aunt's cookies, head to the kitchen to share it with your children. Even if you don't have generational recipes to make with your kids, you can bake foods that are indicative of your ethnic heritage -- streusel (Germany), Tiramisu (Italy), madeleines (France), alfajores (Spain and Latin America), etc.
Try this yummy Tiramisu recipe >>
Experiment with breads
Whether you have a bread machine or not, making homemade bread can be a lot of fun. Skip store-bought breads from now on and start making bread with your kids. Don't stick to white, wheat and rye. Experiment with everything from sugar-free banana bread to gluten-free sandwich bread. Your kids will love searching online to find new, unique bread recipes.
Start with a monthly theme
Another fun way to start a family baking tradition is to pick one ingredient at the beginning of each month as a theme. For example, apples. Then, throughout the month, make different recipes using that ingredient -- apple pie, baked apples, German apple bread and so on. The more unusual that you make the ingredient, the more fun it will be coming up with recipes.
If you start a baking tradition with your kids, stick to it. Family traditions provide your kids with special memories that will last a lifetime. They help strengthen family bonds among parents and their children by providing opportunities to talk to and connect with one another. Traditions also bind one generation to the next. Before you know it, your kids will be baking cookies on Saturdays with their own children.