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Cooking with Kids: How to make homemade pretzels

I’ve never considered myself a pretzel fan until my daughter Hadley and I devoured cinnamon-sugar pretzels as big as our heads from Styria Bakery at Christkindl Market. It was then that I had a life-altering realization: I don’t prefer salty but how I love sweet.

That pretty much sums up my entire existence.

Sweet and salty pretzels

Sweet and salty pretzels

My kids love to help me in the kitchen. My mother-in-law gave Hadley some fun cookbooks for Christmas so we’ve been doing a lot of baking. One of her favorites is Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook.

What I like about it: this cookbook lays out everything they’ll need for each recipe–not just the ingredients but also the cookware,  measuring spoons, cutting board, etc. The instructions are really basic, perfect for little chefs. What I don’t like about it: there are no actual pictures, only drawings of the food.

We recently had some friends over for a playdate and I figured it would be the perfect time to test out the pretzel recipe. Hadley and I  pre-made the dough so it would be ready to assemble and it was a hit! The kids loved forming their pretzels into all kinds of shapes so I’d highly recommend this as an activity, particularly when friends are over.

Making pretzels with kids is fun to do.

Making pretzels with kids is fun to do.

Seems like a lot of work? Remember, teaching your kids to cook now is an investment with huge returns when they start cooking for you.

I’m already counting down the days.

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Trail Mix: make, eat, and write

Trail mix (often called Gorp) is one of my favorite snacks! It’s so filling, especially with almonds or cashews. You can make this snack as an activity with your kids, and even help your kids write up the directions.

Go to the bulk aisle in the grocery store and select your ingredients . . .

granola

nuts

chocolate chips

banana chips

pretzels

raisins

and so on.

Set out these ingredients in individual bowls. Let your children scoop from each to make their own granola.

Now, to add in some writing . . .

Have your kids write out the directions to make granola. Help them think back and write it step by step. It wasn’t too complicated so this is a great start to direction writing.

Illustrate.

Add to your family cookbook or mail to a friend.