Holiday Baking with Kids

Every family has its special holiday traditions. One of our favorites is baking cookies with the kids using a variety of holiday-theme cookie cutters, some of which belonged to my grandmother. My sons carefully select their favorite cookie cutters, then let loose their creativity decorating finished cookies. They make special ones for relatives, elderly neighbors and, of course, Santa and Rudolph!

Start a Cooking Holiday Tradition

Before you start holiday baking with your kids, follow these easy guidelines for a never-fail holiday cooking tradition:

  • Think through your favorite holiday recipes. They might include toasted pumpkin seeds for Halloween, a favorite cake or bread for Chanukah, a special Thanksgiving salad or side dish or a deliciously festive Christmas confection. Pick one recipe for each holiday to prepare with your children.
  • Select recipes with the ability of your children in mind. Very young children may be content stirring the ingredients, while older children want to read recipes, push the buttons on the blender and add their own creative touches to the food. When in doubt, keep it simple.
  • Set the mood. Don't forget the kitchen when you're putting up holiday decorations. After all, it's where much of the holiday magic is actually created! Playing festive music while you cook with your children really sets the mood, and they'll always remember baking pumpkin pie when they play the holiday favorites on the radio each year.


Child-Friendly Holiday Recipes

If you just can't come up with some favorite recipe ideas of your own, try these child-tested favorites:

  • Bread, muffins or rolls. Children love to knead and roll out bread dough, and they have a blast designing their own shaped rolls.
  • Cookies. Any recipe that uses cookie cutters is sure to be a hit. Kids also like cookies where they can add raisins, dried fruit or other decorations.
  • Salads. Kids love to clean and cut up vegetables. Choose your utensils with ability and safety in mind. Challenge your brood to come up with a variety of shapes and colors. Remember you are creating not only great-tasting foods, but traditions to last a lifetime. Put on your favorite holiday music, dance around the kitchen, and let the magic begin!
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