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Holiday Baking with Children

We’re just starting to get ready for the holidays in our house. The cards have been chosen, the gifts ordered or purchased, and the menu is planned. Unfortunately, there is still an inordinate number of projects that need to be done before we can truly be merry. While our daughter is still too young to be involved in much of the preparations, we try to include her in as many ways as we can. We’ll park her in the high chair next to the kitchen counter or table, so she can watch me fuss around the kitchen and bake bread and cookies, or she “helps” me to wrap gifts by playing with some papers and ribbon, or “helps” her dad while he puts together yet another new toy for her or her little brother to play with.

Next year we’re looking forward to having her more actively participate in all the holiday preparations. For those with older children, here are some holiday treats your little ones can be involved in making this holiday season:

  • Build a gingerbread house. Do yourself a favor and purchase one of those all-in-one kits at the store, or buy it online, so you don’t have to mix frosting or bake the gingerbread yourself. Most come with the pieces already cut out and ready to be put together.
  • Make buckeyes. These are quintessential holiday treats and very easy to make. Find the recipe here.
  • Bake sugar cookies. Another holiday tradition in many homes, sugar cookies are easy to make and fun to decorate. In fact, they can be as elaborate or as simple as you like – simply frost and coat with colored sugars or shapes, or pipe frosting on the cookies for a more detailed look.
  • Make chocolate-covered pretzel sticks. This one is easy for little hands to do. Simply dip pretzel sticks in melted chocolate and let sit on lightly greased waxed paper to dry.
  • Make fruit kebabs. These are great low-fat treats and easy to make. Cut up slices or cubes of your favorite fruits – apples, oranges, pears, grapes, pineapple, etc. – and stick them on bamboo skewers. Provide yogurt for dipping, or eat them as is.

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