Kids in the Kitchen: Cool Summer Treats
School’s out and summer is in session. Running barefoot through the grass, playing baseball in the backyard, soaking up the warm sunshine after a busy day of dancing through the sprinkler—this season was made for kids.
But that doesn’t mean all the fun happens outside. Summer is the perfect time to set aside a morning or afternoon to encourage your little ones to flex their creativity inside the kitchen. Need a little inspiration yourself? Check out these get-’em-excited tips and hot ideas for easy frozen summertime sweets.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
As with most things, proper prep is the key to success. Following a few simple steps beforehand will ensure that major fun is had by all.
- Give them a say. Empower and engage kids from the get-go by letting them peruse Pinterest, your favorite food magazine or a children’s cookbook for ideas. Or simplify the options by presenting a handful of vetted recipes, then let them be the deciding factor.
- Schedule a time slot. Because let’s be honest, it’s too easy to get sidetracked in summer!
Decide on a recipe that can be made in 30 minutes or less. Kids aren’t known for their long attention spans, after all.
- Let them invite a friend. And they will think you’re the coolest mom or dad in the world, guaranteed.
- Pick up kid-friendly accessories. Deck out your budding chef with a mini apron, chef’s coat or chef’s hat. Invest in a few fun and colorful cooking tools such as whisks, spatulas, measuring cups and spoons like those in the Baker’s Secret® Essentials 5-PC Color Measuring Spoon Set, or look for product lines made especially for kids.
4 FANTASTIC FROZEN TREATS
When temperatures soar, the tastiest way to beat the heat is with ice-cold goodies. These recipe ideas are easy for kids of all ages to make and enjoy.
SNOW CONES: Cold, sweet, fruity and colorful. What’s not to love about this summertime staple? To make flavored syrup, use the Baker’s Secret® Essentials 4-PC Measuring Cup Set to measure 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle in one envelope of Kool-Aid until dissolved. Cool, then pour into a bottle and refrigerate until ready to use. Making the shaved or crushed ice is even easier. Either purchase an inexpensive snow cone maker or whir ice cubes in a blender until you achieve the desired consistency. Heap ice into snow cone cups and drizzle with the chilled syrup.
FROZEN YOGURT DOTS: This one is a perfect project for even your littlest helpers. Simply scoop your favorite yogurt into a small plastic food-safe bag. Pipe “dots” onto a Baker’s Secret® Signature™ Large Cookie Sheet and freeze for about 40 minutes or until firm. Gently remove with a spatula and cool off with a couple—or a bowlful!
CHOCOLATE-DIPPED BANANA BITES: Here’s a sweet way to keep little monkeys happy! Peel and slice a banana into 1/2-inch slices. Drop a few slices at a time into a bowl of melted chocolate and coat evenly. Transfer dipped slices onto a waxed paper-lined Baker’s Secret® Signature™ Large Cookie Sheet and freeze for 6 hours minimum. Want to take ’em to the next level? Dip coated bananas into a bowl of sprinkles, shredded coconut or chopped roasted peanuts before freezing.
FROZEN POPS: Fruit juice, smoothies, lemonade—almost anything can be frozen and savored on a stick. Looking for fresh new combos? Check out our favorite fruit pop recipes here.
TAKE SHORTCUTS. If working with kids under age 5, have most ingredients prepped beforehand. Kids this age are more interested in pouring, stirring and sprinkling.
CREATE CONSISTENCY. Keep the quality time and learning going by scheduling a “kids cooking session” once a week if possible.
NURTURE THEIR TALENTS. Capitalize on your children’s strengths. If one is more math-orientated, ask them to handle the measuring. Budding artist? Put that kid on decorating duty!
From ice cream shops to ball games to amusement parks, frozen treats pop up everywhere in the summertime. By creating them right in your own kitchen, you can save money and control ingredient choices, but the sweet memories are hands down the best part of chillin’ at home!
YOUR TURN: What frosty summer confection tops your list?