The Rule of Crumb - Baking with Kids
Rule of Crumb is a bite-sized insight of the individuals who delight and inspire us. This week we had the pleasure of speaking with the wonderful Catherine. Catherine is a mum, blogger, food writer, and the brains behind Baking With Kids, a baking blog that has an impressive following of like-minded mummies who are looking for inspiration to bake with their little ones. Baking With Kids certainly does what it says on the tin - with straightforward, easy recipes that are kid-friendly. Catherine’s unpretentious approach to baking urges us to ‘embrace the messiness’, you can find her fabulous recipes at @baking_with_kids. Here are some of Catherine’s top tips when baking with little ones:
What inspired you to start ‘Baking with Kids’?
We have baked together since the kids were old enough to stand on a chair. It is my favourite messy play/ sensory activity for little ones and when I first started the Instagram page, I had 2 under two at home. Baking was a nice way to spend one on one time with my toddler while the baby was napping and so we found ourselves baking a few times a week. We picked up a few tips and tricks along the way and thought it would be nice to share these in a space like Instagram, not only to share the activities with other parents but also as a diary to look back on as the kids get older.
Photo credit: @baking_with_kids
We absolutely love your recipes, what are your top tips for baking with little ones?
My number one tip is always- Embrace the Mess. I think if you're going into a baking session with little ones thinking about how to keep the kitchen clean than you're potentially going to get a bit stressed out, Realise that there will be mess and roll with it- It's nothing that you won't be able to clean up afterwards while the kids have some much-loved screen time.
The second tip is make sure everyone is chilled before you start. Again, this is more for cooking with very little ones but if your toddler is due a nap or you've had 2 hours sleep from a teething baby it may not be the best time to let your kids practise cracking eggs... bake when you have plenty of time and everyone is in a good (or at least neutral) mood.
You are always coming up with new and interesting recipe ideas! How do you stay inspired?
Thank you! We all love to cook here so some ideas are the result of years of little tweaks and others are when the girls suggest something straight out of left-field and we think 'yes let's try it!'
I do like to make things fun if we can- adding edible eyes or putting a bake on a lollipop stick to add kids' appeal always makes an old classic seem more exciting to younger kids. I think that we are a team of three, me and my two girls so really, we all inspire each other.
Do you think it’s important for parents to bake with their children?
I love to bake so it was a natural thing for me to bake with my girls. I think there are countless benefits of baking with your kids, it strengthens their emotional resilience, you gain one on one time with them where you have to communicate and work towards a common goal, it improves maths and literacy skills and of course you have something yummy to eat at the end of it. Ultimately though if you are a reluctant cook yourself it may be that you engage in an activity that you are confident in to obtain that one-on-one time such as arts and crafts or sports. Or of course you can take advantage of a fantastic cooking kit like those available from Craft & Crumb to hone your kitchen skills with the kids,
What is your favourite childhood recipe?
I baked so much as a child but my all-time favourite was cherry and almond cake. This is definitely not a favourite with my kids now (they prefer anything with chocolate).
How did you learn to bake? Do you have memories of baking which stand out from your childhood?
Growing up both my parents and grandmother cooked a lot. My gran had a bakestone and would often have Welsh cakes on the go and my mum is famous in our family for the best quiche in Wales so there were loads of opportunities for me to get involved in baking from a young age. I always remember running across the road to my aunties house to borrow her old St Michael cookbook and 82 cake tin to make my favourite cherry and almond cake though. I loved flicking through the cakes in that cookbook.
What is your favourite recipe to bake with your children?
We have so many recipes we love to make, and sometimes it can be hard to agree on a favourite- the girls love to make cupcakes but my favourite thing to make with them are Welsh cakes. There's lots of rubbing in flour, rolling out dough and sprinkling with sugar- it's a really hands-on recipe and allows plenty of time for mess, chatting and in the kids case- eating the raw dough! Plus as there's no decorating they can be eaten within minutes of being cooked too.
Photo credit: @baking_with_kids