Kids can be great helpers in the kitchen at holiday time. Have them assist you in making everything from apple cookies to zucchini bread for your holiday gift giving. Consider your child’s age and ability when choosing what to make. A preschool-age child can help roll and cut sugar cookies. A grade school-age child can help knead bread dough. A middle school-age child can learn the art of candy-making. Through these activities you can teach children that when you give a gift from your kitchen, you give a little bit of yourself. Following are some ideas on what to make and how to package your special gift.
Easy gift ideas
Fruit basket—Children can help shop for and arrange a variety of fruits in a basket.
Soup mix—Open a package of mixed bean soup mix and pour into a Mason jar. Place a circle of cloth over the lid and tie with a ribbon. Copy the recipe for soup from the package and attach.
Honey butter—Mix equal parts of honey and softened butter or margarine. Pour into a jar or plastic container. Label and refrigerate until ready to deliver.
Christmas cookies—Use your favorite recipe for sugar cookies and gingerbread men or other holiday favorites. If you’re short on time, use cookie dough from the grocery store.
Quick breads—Quick bread recipes, or boxed mixes, such as poppy seed, pumpkin, or fruit and nut, can be baked in smaller loaf pans for gift giving.
No-fail fudge—Stir one 7-ounce jar of marshmallow creme with one 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Optional—Add one cup chopped walnuts. Pour into a buttered 8-by-8-inch square pan. Cool. Cut into 1-inch squares.
Bread dough critters—Kids can shape bears or snowmen from bread dough. Make your own dough, or buy frozen bread dough, thaw, shape and bake as directed.
It’s all in the packaging
Get creative—Use baskets, tins, coffee cans covered with fabric or paper, jars, mugs, fabric or paper bags, or holiday plates.
All together now—Group foods that go together such as homemade bread and jam.
Wrap it up—Wrap baked goods with plastic wrap, to show off what you made.
Tie it up—Tie with ribbon, raffia or yarn.
A little something extra—Add candies and nuts to your plate of cookies to add variety and color. Attach greeting cards, family photographs, recipes, cookie cutters, ornaments, cinnamon sticks, evergreen sprigs, jingle bells or candy canes to your package for a personal touch.