It’s true - many kids love to help in the kitchen. And with these seven easy desserts, you can team up for some family fun with minimal stress and mess for you. While you can always find new ways to get creative, the steps below are simple enough that your kiddos will easily memorize the process. Soon, he'll want the kitchen all to himself!
For this first easy dessert, collect a colorful array of disposable plastic spoons (or simple black or white spoons) and melt your favorite chocolate baking chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Then, get your kids involved and have them dip the heads of the spoons in the chocolate then douse with tasty toppings, from almond slices to peanut butter chips and sprinkles. Refrigerate to set.
A boxed bread and muffin mix (banana with chocolate chips is usually a hit) comes with multiple tasks fit for toddlers, from lining mini-muffin pans to adding the small number of ingredients to the mixing bowl. Your toddler will find this job even more appealing if you let him top the muffin batter with a splash of colorful sprinkles.
Most box brownie mixes typically call for three additional ingredients (eggs, water and oil) all of which are easy for your child to pour into the mixing bowl after measuring. For extra fun, ask your toddler which secret ingredient they want to add, like marshmallows, crushed cookies, fudge or caramel syrup.
A bagged sugar cookie mix makes a small batter so the project wraps up just about the time your toddler tires of it. For cut-outs, give your toddler the rolling pin and cookie cutters to make shapes or letters. For a unique sensory experience, show your child how to roll small balls of dough to toss in a bowl of sprinkles. They will bake up as small, fluffy, colorful cookies.
Chocolate-Covered Pretzels and Strawberries
If you're game for a slightly messier, finger-licking experiment, dipping pretzels and strawberries in chocolate is a great way to keep your toddler busy (and teach them that dessert can include fruit). They will be proud to largely manage the task themselves while you're tending to your own kitchen jobs nearby. Add sprinkles or shredded coconut for extra fun flavor.
If you have the time and your toddler has the attention span, mini macarons are a delicious way to celebrate dessert any day of the week. While traditional French macarons can be a little difficult to make, using a whoopie pie recipe and making the cake-like cookie pieces smaller helps make them just the right size for your little one's fingers. They can practice hand-eye coordination by spreading on the filling. Pick a season-appropriate color for some festive fun - pastels for springs, bright colors like yellow for summer, orange or red for fall and blues (or red and green) for winter.
Marshmallow Cereal Treats
Grab a box of Rice Krispies or your kid’s favorite cereal (fruity cereals, frosted corn flakes, cereal with marshmallows, etc.), a bag of marshmallows and some butter, and start mixing up this gooey kid-friendly easy dessert. But, don’t think you have to stop there with just the traditional ingredients! Try adding mini chocolate chips, candy-covered chocolate pieces or coconut flakes to the mix.
With these seven easy desserts, you’re ready for a fun-filled day with your kids making sweet treats the whole family can enjoy. Missing a few ingredients? Stop by your local Food Lion to pick up your dessert essentials at low prices that can make these treats even sweeter.