Fall lends itself to delicious treats. Apples are ripe for picking. Pumpkins are showing up everywhere. Many veggies are ready for harvest. Fresh food is readily available so fall is a great time to share some food preparation and baking life skills.
Food preparation and baking isn’t just for older kids. There are skills that everyone from the youngest to the oldest can help with and learn. Littles can do small tasks like helping to wash the veggies, help mix ingredients, or even help measure for recipes. I know my kids loved helping me bake, especially mixing everything together, when they were toddlers.
As kids get older they can do more in the kitchen. Not just chores like washing dishes and such but cooking and baking too. Cleaning, peeling and cutting veggies are tasks that can be done with help at first and then with guidance until the kids are able to do it on their own. Using kitchen appliances can also be taught as the skill level increases. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer can make baking more fun and easier.
Older kids can get even more advanced. They can choose and follow recipes by themselves. They can bake cookies, desserts, pies, crisps and cakes. They can even prepare entire meals as they progress. Cooking skills are a necessary life skill for everyone. It is also a life skill that many kids enjoy learning.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons for baking. We have an apple tree that gives us more apples than we can use so I’m always trying to bake with them while I can. Both of my kids love making apple crisp. It is a simple recipe that is easy to make. We also make pumpkin pie using my great-grandmother’s pie crust recipe. We use the pie crust for many different recipes because it is simple and usually works out well. One of our favorite pies to make is Caramel Apple Pie. The kids love to make it and enjoy eating the gooey, delicious fall treat. Below is the Apple Crisp recipe that my mother handed down to me and I’ve shared with my kids.
4 cups apples, cored & chopped
(We prefer apples that are a little tart – our tree is a Granny Smith)
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
½ cup oatmeal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Mix sugars, flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Cut the butter into the dry ingredient mixture – use a pastry cutter or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Place chopped apples in a 9×9 glass pan. Pour the mixture over the apples and spread it out evenly over the apples. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve plain or with ice cream or whipped cream.
Do your kids enjoy cooking and baking? Do they have favorite tasks or recipes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to sign-up for the Homeschooling With Tea’s mailing list. Receive the free, exclusive “Life Skills Planner” now and tips, resources, how-to’s and extras in the future.