Now, before I begin, I have to put out a disclaimer: my son is a healthy eater, and eats plenty of fruits and vegetables. In fact, grape tomatoes and avocados are two of his favorite foods.
That being said, he also inherited my sweet tooth.
And this tooth is not satisfied by any sort of fruit, regardless of how good my intentions might be on any given day…
*Cue cookie making!*
I have a wealth of very valid excuses behind these cookies. If I do it with my son and niece, I can teach them measuring – a mathematical skill crucial for future development. If I give some to my neighbor, I’m doing a service project. And, if I mix it by hand, I’m burning calories from the cookies that I’m going to eat …Right?
It’s almost a sin NOT to bake them.
But really – cooking IS a skill that develops children’s mathematical thinking. With older children, try doubling, tripling, or halving the recipe and encourage them to determine what the new amount of each ingredient will be (helping as needed).
When cooking with toddlers, count the cookies as they are placed on the pan determining if you have the right amount of cookies per eater. As they eat their cookies, have them count the chocolate chips (or raisins, or any other cookie filler) and determine which cookies have the most chips and which have the least.
Cooking is also a scientific experience if you allow it to be one. With older children, explain what baking powder and baking soda contribute to the cookies. If you don’t mind botching a bit of the cookies, make a batch with no baking soda or powder, and then make one with too much. Explain how there is a chemical reaction occurring within the cookie during the heating process – possibly even illustrating it with baking soda and vinegar. (Volcanoes are always fun to play with!)
Before you get knee deep in butter and sugar, let me share the advice of a completely inexperienced mother trying to create a wonderful learning experience (as well as yummy cookies) while not pulling out ALL of her hair: let those happy helpers pour all of the ingredients after you have already measured them out.
If you have more than one child cooking, split the ingredients so that each child gets equal time helping. Use multiple stirring spoons to decrease fights over turns and provide multiple pans to place the cookies on. When cooking with toddlers, cook only simple recipes that can’t easily be fouled up by a little too much salt, overzealous mixing, or a few stranded eggshell pieces.
Finally, have fun! Anytime you need an excuse for making cookies, just think… it’s a vital learning experience for your children… How can you deprive them of such knowledge?
Here’s my favorite (simple) Chocolate Chip cookie recipe that my son has helped me make.
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies
|1 cup butter||1 cup white sugar|
|1 cup brown sugar||2 eggs|
|1 tsp vanilla||–|
Mix all the above then mix in the following ingredients in order:
|1 tsp baking soda||1 tsp baking powder|
|½ tsp salt||2 ½ cups oatmeal|
|2 cups flour||1 bag choc. chips|
Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes then enjoy!
This article was written by Heidi. Heidi currently blogs a lot about health and nutrition. In fact she is blogging full-time at Juicingpedia.com. Juicingpedia provides people with juicing recipes. Juicing is a great way to get your daily amount of fruits and vegetables quickly.