With another school year over, many parents are now looking for fun and affordable ways to entertain the kids during the school holidays. One option for entertaining the kids at home is to teach them the basics of cookery. From preparation to cleaning up and all the fun stuff in between, cooking with kids is not only a cost effective activity for children, it is also a great way for parents to teach their kids about responsibility and food safety in the kitchen.
Thanks to the popularity of TV shows like MasterChef Australia, kids of all ages are taking more of an interest in cooking and if you make it fun, they’ll never know they’re actually learning a valuable life skill. Children will enjoy measuring the ingredients, breaking the eggs, stirring the mixing bowl and rolling the biscuits. And of course, everybody will enjoy eating the finished product.
For a fun and successful experience for both parents and children, we asked the experts at Betty Crocker for their top tips for baking with kids. We’ve also included two simple recipes (see below) to get you started.
1. Think about where a “children’s baking corner” will fit in your kitchen. Younger children need more supervision, so it’s great if they can work in one area while you’re working in another.
2. Look over your baking equipment, and put items a child can use in a place they can get to easily. Bowls with handles and pouring spouts or with rubber rings on the bottom that stay put on the bench are good for kids. Or how about getting them a mixing spoon or whisk that’s just their size?
3. Have some simple rules. You are the best judge of the age at which your child should be allowed to use the stove top, oven, other appliances and sharp knives.
4. About that mess! At Betty’s Kitchens, we start baking by filling the sink with warm, soapy water! As we finish using a utensil (except for sharp knives), we put it in the water to soak. Knives are washed separately. Finishing up is easier when dishes are washed as they’re used.
5. Read the package directions or recipe all the way through with children before they start to bake. Explain anything they don’t understand.
6. We recommend adult supervision whenever children use sharp knives, the stove top, the oven or small electrical appliances.
7. Teach children how to correctly set the controls on the stove top and oven.
8. Teach children safe food-preparation techniques and how to handle hot foods.
9. When your child is old enough to use oven mitts, provide ones in a size easy for smaller, less-adept hands to use.
10. Simplicity is key. Select recipes that are easy for your child to understand and help prepare.
To get you started, Betty Crocker has also provided these easy to make recipes for kids. In just three simple steps, kids can help you to mix, bake and decorate delicious ice cream brownies or cookies on a stick.
Betty Crocker Cookies on a Stick
Cooking time 15 mins
Makes 24 cookies
1. Using the new Rainbow variety of Betty Crocker Cookies mix, prepare cookies as directed on the pack to the end of Step 3. Then insert an icy pole stick 2cm into the base of each cookie.
2. Press the M&M’s® Minis which are included in the pack (about 7 per cookie) on top of each cookie.
3. Then bake as per the directions on the pack.
Betty Crocker Brownie Ice Cream
1. Using Betty Crocker Brownies* mix prepare bake and cool
brownies as directed on the pack.
2. Crumble half of the brownie into chunky pieces and gently fold through 2 litres of good quality softened vanilla ice cream.
3. Spoon into ice cream container and return to freezer. Freeze for several hours or until firm.
* Betty Crocker Brownies are available in six flavours: Triple Chocolate Fudge; Reduced Fat Chocolate Fudge; Frosted Chocolate; Rainbow which includes M&M MINIS; Chocolate Caramel; and Brownie Crunch.
For more recipes and information on Betty Crocker’s complete product range please go to: www.bettycrocker.com.au
From now until 17 January 2010 we are giving residents of Australia the chance to win one of three Betty Crocker Cupcake mixes gift packs. Click Here to Enter