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Nashville, Ark. – If you are looking for a new holiday tradition to start with your
children, consider baking up a batch of cookies or breads. Such memories can last
a lifetime and it is fun both for the adult and the child. Plus, your child will be
learning new life skills.
Children are natural kitchen helpers. They like to share simple tasks such as shopping
for food, picking what foods to prepare, stirring mixes, cutting out cookies, even
simple chopping. They love helping you prepare and serve food to the family.
Baking Christmas cookies for Santa is a perfect way to introduce your child to the
kitchen. Baking cookies gives the child a chance to measure, count, and see food change.
That’s early math and science learning. Cooking together also builds language and
reading skills. You can read the labels on the ingredients and read the recipe together.
Small muscle skills are being developed too, when your child uses his or her hands
to mix, measure, cut-out or decorate the cookies. Even cleaning up provides an opportunity
to teach. Cleanup teaches responsibility. It is part of many creative, messy things
When baking in the kitchen with children there are some safety rules you will want
to follow. They include:
Children can and will want to do a lot when baking together. Some of the tasks they
can perform easily include:
As a parent, be aware that cooking together may require a little more patience. Your
child will make a mess. It’s okay! Young children do not have the same muscle coordination
and skills that you do. Sometimes even adults make a mess when cooking.
Allow plenty of time to bake together. A recipe that takes 20 minutes to prepare,
will probably take twice as long when you are preparing it with a child. Also be prepared
for the child to lose interest. They may not complete each step but will probably
do some of each step as you go along. It’s worth letting your child help. Kitchen
time is learning time that you share together.
When you finish, sit down, and share a cookie and a glass of milk. Reflect on the
day’s activity. Who knew learning could be so much fun!
For more information on nutrition, meal preparation, or cooking with children, contact
the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on
the second floor of the courthouse. Have fun baking and building memories together
with your child this holiday season!
Here is a basic sugar cookie recipe to get you started baking with your children.
Children will have lots of fun cutting out and decorating the cookies!
1 lb. powdered sugar, sifted
¼ lb. (1/2 c.) soft butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 to 4 tbsp. milk
Food coloring, optional
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.