My kids are always asking to help me in the kitchen.  My youngest darling uses all her strength to pull the kitchen stool out of its hiding space between the fridge and the wall and drag it across the floor, huffing and grunting all the way to the counter.  Even kids as young as two or three can help.

While it does take an extra measure of patience to let small children help with cooking, there’s so much to learn in the kitchen at every age.

 

  •     Math: counting, addition & subtraction, measuring, fractions
  •     Fine Motor Skills: holding a measuring cup, stirring, pouring
  •     Literacy: reading recipes and ingredients
  •     Social skills: listening, following directions, exercising patience
  •     Life skills: we all gotta eat!

 

Here’s a fun recipe to try with your kids one afternoon or weekend.  It’s not too involved, there’s no waiting for the dough to rise, and it allows lots of “help” from little ones (not to mention creativity)!  I got the recipe here.

 

Easy Soft Pretzels

    1 package instant yeast

    ¾ cup warm water

    1 ½ teaspoons honey

    1 ½ teaspoons salt

    2 cups all-purpose flour (sub ½ whole wheat flour, if you like)

    1 egg for wash

    Coarse salt to sprinkle on top

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, water, honey and salt.  Add the flour and mix until it’s fully incorporated and pulls away from the side of the bowl.  

Preheat your oven to 425°.  While the oven is heating up, divide the dough into pieces and allow each child to roll it into a long snake and form whatever shape they like. We had hearts, letters, gymnasts, and, of course, regular old pretzel shapes.  I dusted the table with a tiny bit of flour, but it wasn’t really necessary.  

Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl and add a little water.  

Place your creations on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush them with your egg wash. Bake for 13-15 minutes.  Enjoy right away while they’re still warm.

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