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The Benefits of Bread Baking with Kids

I always enjoyed baking with my children when they were little  and those memories are memories that they treasure, and I am sure they always will.  Bread baking time was family time and always successful, because in the end, there was always a reward.  The reward of something delectable coming out of the oven for all to partake. Clearly a win-win situation. I know that my children will try to recreate the same kind of memories for their own kids some day in the future.  The thought of that makes me extremely happy!

So, right there, you have a benefit that will outweigh any others I might add.  End of blogpost. But I did say “benefits” (plural) in my blog title and so I let me add a few more.  Because that’s just the kind of  person I am.  Always sharing good info. This time I want to share with you some of the benefits you may not hot have been thinking about in regards to baking with kids.  I know I didn’t until I came across a blog by a homeschooling mom whose profession was occupational therapy, pre-child era.  Lots of great info for parents on her blog OT Mom.

You teach your children all kinds of skills when you let them participate in the kitchen activities.  Let’s take a very simple recipe by Jamie Oliver, for making flatbreads on the griddle.  He thinks it’s a great recipe to make with kids.  I concur, Mr. Oliver!  The recipe has only four ingredients and does not even require an oven.   It is is in grams, however and so you can apply your math and conversion skills to change it to imperial measurements.  As for me, being European, I just get out my scale…

So, in working with this recipe, we (the kids and whoever is involved ) will be using maths skills  because we will be measuring and counting our ingredients.  We will be using visual perceptual and spatial perceptual skills and lots of coordination skills.  Isn’t that cool?  And here you thought, you were just making some super delectable flatbreads on the griddle.

Jamie Oliver’s flatbread

We start by sifting flour into a large bowl.  This trains a child to use both hands together; and for one hand to “support” while the other does the main task.  This skill helps in tying shoelaces, cutting with scissors or drawing a line with a ruler.

We mix all the ingredients together with a fork before using our hands to the lump of dough for about a minute.   Then we divide the dough in half, divide each piece in half again and  each of these pieces into thirds.  We are using math and fractions .  How many pieces of dough do we end up with?

Rolling the balls of dough before flattening them out again is a good activity to boost bilateral coordination.

And when we roll out  dough balls into somewhat circular or oval shapes  with a rolling pin, we use symmetrical bilateral coordination – both hands are working together to do the same thing.  Who knew?

But let’s assume your children are already older and have mastered all their coordination skills. How would they benefit?  Well, learning or knowing how to bake (bread) gives them a few plus points on the “cool” scale with their peers and gives them confidence with their social skills.  (Unlike zebras who have very poor social skills.  Just thought you might want to know that piece of info as well while I am talking about social skills).  I can promise you that a teen who knows how to make/bake homemade bread is never going to be without friends.  And can you imagine them baking bread for their boyfriend or girlfriend?  I suppose, I should warn you.  Breadbaking skills are  enormously attractive to the opposite sex.  I can tell you from personal experience having two sons who know how to bake.

While I am writing this, a thought came to me.  I wonder how bread baking skills would benefit the child who is being bullied at school?  Everyone LOVES fresh bread, even the bully. Hmmm…, I shall have to give this some more thought.  (Maybe get a project going?)

So, there you have it.  Whether it is Jamie Oliver’s flatbread or any type of homemade bread, bread baking skills in children contribute positively to humanity.  Of that I am sure!

Over and Out.

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