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"A lot of lifelong health habits are instilled in children based on what their parents teach them...it's important to let kids be kids, and I want mine to have fun and enjoy life. Let kids eat cake!"
TORONTO, ON, November 15, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For most parents, achieving a balance between what children want and nurturing healthy choices is challenging, but since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, stability can feel downright impossible. Whilst the knock-on effects are vast, it's been especially difficult to manage how kids (and adults) are indulging treats. It may then be surprising to hear that for some healthcare professionals, the solution came in the form of pastry - delicious news via Canada's Baking Box, a subscription service designed to develop home-baking techniques, and the first baking subscription box in Canada to offer monthly demonstrations taught by a professional pastry chef.
In the holiday run-up, the Nintendo Switch remains one of the most coveted gifts for 2021 (in no small way thanks to the Animal Crossing: New Horizons 2.0 update), according to Good Housekeeping's Tween-tested gift guide released last month - but top trends for the age group (9-12) largely relate to self care, the latest tech and personal growth – with an emphasis on expressing individuality and exploring new hobbies, from fitness and photography to beadwork and baking.
For physician Meileen Joynt, from Lindsay, Ontario, staying on-trend to give relevant gifts that instil healthy habits in her 12-year-old daughter Hazel isn't easy – but it's essential, and often part of discussions with colleague Naomi, mother of of Raeghan, 11.
With both girls expressing a keen interest in baking, Naomi proposed a novel idea for Christmas 2020: nurturing their passion with monthly lessons from a professional pastry chef. Meileen recounts;
"Naomi and I are close friends and physician colleagues, so it's great that our daughters, who are born a year apart, are close too.
I wouldn't say I'm the world's best baker, but I enjoy it, as well as looking up new recipes and trying different things, and Hazel and I have been baking together since she was 4 years old. When Naomi found a subscription baking box, I thought it was a great activity for the girls to do together!"
Parents frequently face the challenge of finding a gift that will inspire, and often want something more tactile, important and memorable than video games. In this case, the doctors diagnosed a win: the girls were thrilled to receive their subscriptions and eagerly awaited a chance to bake together - but no one could have anticipated that we'd have to miss out on so much time with our loved ones.
With Canadians across the nation negotiating unprecedented times, that, in 2020/21 brought school closures, working from home and the 'new normal' of life in lockdowns, it was valuable to both doctors to offer their kids some respite from the gloom, as well as opportunities to learn and grow. Meileen continues;
"We had originally intended for the girls to get together to do their baking, but lockdown lasted another 6 months. I wouldn't have thought it would be the case, but it turned out that Zoom baking is actually really fun! It was a great social thing for Hazel to be doing, and meant the girls could connect over their shared interest - they both looked forward to it every month.
It surprised me at first that I didn't need to be as hands-on as I'd have thought! Of course I was in the kitchen supervising, and helping with the cleanup, but I didn't have to jump in, as the recipes were really clear and Hazel was able to learn a lot from the written instructions as well as from the videos.
Hazel is really independent, but I feel that the baking box has definitely helped her to develop more confidence in the kitchen and using the oven. There's also a bit of planning involved, which can be difficult for children, (for example, making sure we have the perishable ingredients like milk or butter on hand before charging ahead) and I like that it's helping her to enhance those life skills."
Gift-giving can be fraught and often expensive - and as any parent knows, with Tweens' rapidly changing tastes, determining which presents will prove a long-term success isn't easy. Factoring in the relative newness of the subscription service trend can also be unpredictable: while research from Canada Post shows more than half of Canadians had either purchased or gifted a subscription box in 2020,** many have learned some boxes aren't always delivering great value. Meileen says;
"We didn't really know what to expect - I've had a few experiences with subscription boxes, and they can be hit or miss – sometimes you'll order one and when it comes, you think 'well, that's not particularly impressive,' but we were delighted with what arrived.
The baking box is always so full of stuff, and always includes special little touches like tiny bottles of vanilla or lemon extract, all measured out. The recipes themselves are fabulous, and there's always a new gadget or tool to try out that enhances the result, and really makes it feel like a great value for money."
The girls were so thrilled with their gifts, they also signed up for the CBB baking camp for kids, organized through sister company Baking Party, the company's response to the demand for socially-distant gatherings to create unforgettable, one-of-a-kind memories.
Guiding children toward routine is challenging in the best of times, but parenting during lockdown upped the ante, leaving many parents feeling they had to pick their battles. For these physicians, the subscription model offered a compromise to celebrate their daughters' love of sweet treats, while educating and reinforcing a message of balance. Meileen continues;
"Everyone talked about how much quarantine baking was going on during lockdown, but with all the conversation focused on whether it's a problem, I think it's so important to share the message of enjoying everything in moderation.
One aspect I like about the subscription model is that when the box arrives once a month, it's special, so it's less about the 'treat' being consumption, rather than a joyful experience that has a bonus of a delicious outcome.
Hazel has also gotten a lot of joy out of sharing her treats with others – my family is still raving about the professional quality of the puff pastry cheese straws she made as part of the CBB baking camp, and I'm not sure she even had one herself!"
Leaning in to the baking trend has meant fantastic, joyful outcomes for the whole family: as Hazel put her energy into enjoying time in the kitchen with her best friend on Zoom, her skills evolved dramatically, and even led to her "taking orders" for her brother's birthday cake!
"For my son's birthday, Hazel was confident enough to invite him to 'order' the exact cake he wanted – an Angry Birds theme that she planned out with drawings, just like on the Great British Bake Off.
It came out brilliantly, and she was immensely proud of her result, quite rightly! It wasn't until afterward I realised we hadn't even made a backup plan – her results have just been that good!
A lot of lifelong health habits are instilled in children based on what their parents teach them, so if parents are really restrictive, it could encourage their child to rebel, and go in the opposite direction. Ultimately, it's important to let kids be kids, and I want mine to have fun and enjoy life. Let kids eat cake!"
Canada's Baking Box and Baking Party are available nationwide, on a one-off, or monthly subscription basis.
About Canada's Baking Box
Canadas Baking Box is a subscription baking box that delivers delicious new recipes and a live demonstration with a professional baker monthly. Visit http://www.canadasbakingbox.ca for more information, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @CanadasBakingBox
Baking Party is a virtual baking event hosted by, and featuring live demonstration from, Toronto's celebrated Baker of Bathurst. Whether celebrating socially-distant gatherings or guiding corporate team-building exercises, Baking Party unites group bookings for unforgettable (and delicious) events.
For more information on Canada's Baking Box or Baking Party, contact Nikki Milovanović of Sophisticated Comms [email protected]
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