Kids look forward to cooking and baking special treats on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is one of the few days a year when many kids are allowed to eat more candy or baked goods than usual. Spend extra time with your child on Valentine’s Day cooking some of her favorite goodies, whether you’re baking for the classroom or for the family.
Make your child’s favorite recipe using red food coloring when possible. Serve an entire meal of red and pink items, even if they are naturally very different colors. For example, serve chicken alfredo, mixing red food coloring into the sauce and cutting the chicken into small heart shapes. Serve red and pink drinks, or clear drinks you can tint with food dye. Mixing a few drops of color into any cookie dough will likely delight your little one if he’s helping you in the kitchen.
Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to turn everything your child eats into a heart for the day, if that’s your desire. Start off with heart-shaped French toast or pancakes for breakfast, watermelon for a snack, sandwiches for lunch, cookies for a snack and individual heart-shaped pizzas or hamburgers for dinner, followed by heart-shaped candy or cake. Other common Valentine’s Day shapes include Cupid, teddy bears and flowers. Allow your toddler to make a flower using cut-up fruit and serve it to other members in the house, including himself.
Use your child’s favorite recipe or introduce a new one. There are numerous Valentine’s Day recipes to make with your child or for your child. Consider chocolate cookies with melted marshmallows and chocolate frosting, topped off with pink or red heart-shaped sprinkles. Use recipes that include pink or red fruits, such as raspberries, strawberries, cherries and watermelon. Strawberry pancakes or homemade cherry ice cream are a few ideas.
As with anything involving children, safety is the biggest priority. Teach your little one about kitchen safety while you work together in the kitchen. Help her wash her hands and give her a special Valentine’s Day apron to make her feel like a true part of the experience. Let her get her hands dirty by mixing the dough, cutting shapes with a plastic cookie cutter or doing anything she can safely do. Never leave her unattended if you have the oven or any burners on.