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Meagan lives in St. Joseph, MI with her husband Jon and kids Clara, Owen, William, Isaac, and Jacob; who range in age from four to fifteen. Meagan celebrates the art of sane + satisfying family life at her blog The Happiest Home, and shares her ideas on being a happier mom in her book The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets To Enjoying Motherhood, both of which have been hailed as down-to-earth, funny, wise, and helpful.

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5 Rules for (Happily) Baking With Kids

By Meagan Francis |

Thanks very much to Pillsbury for sponsoring this post and for providing Pillsbury products for me to have some fun with.

A while ago I was talking to another mom about baking cookies with the kids, and she said something to the effect of, “I would rather bake my own fingers than bake with children.” Her point: that baking with kids is frustrating, aggravating, and the end result is often suspiciously crunchy, probably owing to wayward eggshell bits.

I can’t argue with that last part, but I think the first two are all about perspective. If you expect baking with small children to go completely smoothly and quickly and that you’ll end up with State Fair-worthy goods at the end, you’re probably going to end up disappointed and frustrated. But if you look at making that cake, bread or pie as a process that can take as long as it needs to – and let go of the idea of a perfect end result – it can be a lot of fun.

Here are my five “rules” for happy baking with younguns:  nggallery template=’carousel’ id=’2′

5 Rules for (Happily) Baking With Kids

1. Choose simple recipes

Quick breads are forgiving and easy to make, and since my pantry is filled with applesauce from my last canning adventure, I chose an applesauce bread recipe last time I baked with the littles.

Do you bake with your kids? And do you let them lick the batter?

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About Meagan Francis


Meagan Francis

Meagan Francis is a mom of five who loves everyday adventures and is in pursuit of a big life with her big family. Her love of family, food, home and travel fuel her writing here and on her blogs The Happiest Home and The Kitchen Hour.
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5 thoughts on “5 Rules for (Happily) Baking With Kids

  1. Meagan Francis says:

    Oh yeah! I’ve been known to mix up a separate batter next to the “kids” batter and bake it after they’re done ravaging “their” cookies. But sometimes that doesn’t work, like when you’re baking something that requires a lot of rolling out or elbow room.

  2. Selfish Mom says:

    This is great. My rule for baking with my kids is that if it’s going to be eaten by close family, they’re welcome to help. But if I’m making something for a bake sale or a gift or to bring to someone’s house, I do it myself. I just get too nuts trying to get them to do things the “right” way. And if I’m baking with them, I want it to be fun, not rage-inducing. :-)

  3. SusanP says:

    I bake with my kids at least once a weekend – we all love it. I had to laugh about your tip with the egg by itself — I do it MYSELF even if baking alone! LOL! I’m always paranoid of a little bit of shell getting it’s way into the main bowl.

    Another tip I have for those of you with a lot of helpers is to do some simple math to break things up. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla — right now I have 3 who like to help dump it in — then instead of using a 1tsp + a 1/2 tsp, thus leaving one of them out — I use the 1/2tsp 3 times. Get it?

    There are certain things that I wait and do after bed time because they are just too tricky; for example I make homemade peanut brittle during the holidays to give as gifts. It’s an exact science and can be easily ruined by distraction; so this past week I’ve made 1 batch a night at 9pm. That way I’m not trying to cram it into one day and freaking out that it will get messed up.

  4. Em's Mama says:

    My 2 year old daughter LOVES to help in the kitchen. She’s really good about waiting until the ingredients are measured, then she gets to “dump it in”. I find that just about everything I’m making has at least one part where she can help, even if I just have her set the oven timer. And…of course…I can always count on her help when it comes time to lick the spoon!!!

    Honestly, I think I enjoy cooking with her almost as much as she does with me – I work a lot so I like to take advantage of all the time we are together, and if cooking dinner is something we can do together (even though it takes twice as long…ack!) at least we can have fun doing it!

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