Preschool Chef: Winter Recipes You and Your Toddler Can Make Together

During winter, when cold weather often keeps families indoors, baking is the perfect pastime to keep your little one's hands busy and tummy full. Check out the warm, delicious recipes below that are perfect for your preschool chef! Break out your aprons and get ready to make as many messes as memories!

preschool chef
Image via Unsplash/ Hannah Tasker

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Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon bread is a perfect alternative for families who enjoy baking muffin or bread but are looking for something with a little bit of a sweet kick. While this cinnamon bread recipe does have 13 ingredients, a few more than might be ideal for cooking with a preschooler, it relies on ingredients that you’ll likely find in your pantry, no special grocery store run required!

For this recipe, add together 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of white sugar, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of buttermilk, ¼ cup of vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Use a mixer to beat the mixture until it’s smooth, usually about 2-3 minutes, and then pour into a greased loaf pan. Next, to give your bread that perfect cinnamon swirl, mash together 2 teaspoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and, using a knife cut this mixture into your batter in a swirl pattern. Sprinkle any of the remaining butter, cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top of your loaf and bake it at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. After taking your cinnamon bread out of the over simply slice, slather with butter and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s nothing kids love more than chocolate chip cookies. Make your version of the classic extra special but writing down the recipe on a card and letting your little one read along as they measure, mix, and bake. To make delicious, homemade chocolate chip cookies, mix ½ cup melted butter with ½ cup of white sugar and 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar. After your butter and sugar are well mixed, stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla and one egg. Add 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour, and ½ teaspoon each of baking soda and sugar.  Finally, add 1 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, spoon out the dough on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Let your cookies cool and then enjoy them with a tall glass of milk!

Hot Cocoa

While some families prefer hot cocoa made from a mix, kids tend to enjoy any opportunity they have to make something from scratch. This recipe takes place largely over the stovetop so, if your preschool chef wants to do more than measure out ingredients, you’ll want to make sure you’re extra hands on to avoid an accident. To prepare homemade hot cocoa, combine ½ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of cooking cocoa, and a dash of salt in a saucepan. Add ⅓ cup of water and slowly bring your mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once your mixture is bubbling, add 4 cups of milk and ¾ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Warm your mixture, again stirring constantly, to serving temperature (don’t overheat it!) then remove it from the stovetop, add a few marshmallows, and let your whole family enjoy this sweet brew in front of the fire!

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Indoor S’mores

While most people think of s’mores as camping treats, countertop s’mores makers are making it possible to enjoy this treat year round. To whip up this sticky, sweet treat, simply break graham crackers into halves and use them to sandwich a roasted marshmallow and a few pieces of chocolate. This ooey-gooey treat is as messy as it is yummy and your kiddo will have as much fun making it as they do eating it!

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Enjoy your preschool chef this winter, mama!

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Preschool Chef: Winter Recipes You and Your Toddler Can Make Together

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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