The Home Baking Association has named February Bake for Family Fun Month. This year, many families have spent a lot of their at-home time learning new skills. Baking is one skill some people imagine is too difficult for them to try. In reality, baking is for everyone. Whether you are experienced bakers or absolute beginners, baking with the family is an ideal way to grow together, have fun, and learn new skills. Here are 7 fun ways to get the whole family baking together.
1. Favorite Recipes
Start with your family’s favorite recipes. Children and previously non-baking family members will be more inclined to help and to learn how to bake when they already know the result is going to be delicious. Letting each person take a turn choosing what to bake will also make them feel more invested in the outcome. It also helps to tell them they can’t have any if they don’t help.
2. Age-appropriate Treats
Make age-appropriate treats. This applies not just to what younger children can eat but also to what younger children can prepare. If you’re nervous about having your younger children around a hot oven or stove, you can make no-bake treats or bake ahead and allow children to assemble the dessert. As children grow older, teach them proper safety techniques as part of the responsibility of baking. Though many people think children do not like responsibility, they do actually gain self-confidence and pride from earning it.
3. Be Forgiving
Though it’s true that baking is a bit more of an exact science than most cooking, making mistakes usually just alters the dessert but doesn’t actually ruin it. Children make mistakes and rather than reacting harshly to the mistakes, we can be patient and see what the mistakes yield. If the baking doesn’t work because of the mistake, the baker learns to be more careful. If the mistake yields something new and delicious, you have a new family favorite.
4. Make It Low-stakes
Make it a low-stakes game. When people are first learning a skill, they can put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well. Even the simplest and silliest games can be fun. One idea is to have some family members bake and others guess the ingredients or do a taste test. Another idea is to put all the jobs in a hat and each person has to draw a job for the week. Perhaps you can try making all the desserts from your favorite movies and have a movie night. Making your own games that work for your family will ensure that everyone wants to help.
5. Make Food Gifts
Make food gifts for others. Many children feel motivated by making other people happy. If you bake for others, children and teens might be inspired to help, especially if they get to have a taste, too. Maybe bake some treats for the neighbors or their friend’s family. Whoever receives these gifts will be touched that they are homemade.
6. Take on Challenges
Children have a tendency to think that their parents can do anything and don’t know what it’s like to face a challenge. Every once in a while, pick a really difficult recipe and allow your children to watch you problem-solve to achieve it. Show them how you go about using new skills and learning about new ingredients. Ask for their input when you feel stuck. Seeing you overcome an obstacle will model problem-solving for their futures.
7. Make it a Competition
Some families love to compete against each other. If your family members are old enough, you can reenact famous cooking shows, such as the Great British Baking Show or Cupcake Wars. One family member can be the judge and choose a required ingredient and then family members compete for recognition.
If there is one thing we have learned this year, it is that quality time with loved ones is essential to our well-being. Involving the whole family in activities around the house will make at-home time feel happier and more comforting. If you are worried about giving your family too much sugar, consider low-sugar options with healthy ingredients such as Aronia berries. Superberries Frozen Aronia berries are a delicious and nutritious ingredient that will work well in almost any recipe that calls for berries.