In the Kitchen with Your Kids: Holiday Edition

By Jessica Wolstenholm

Can you believe the Holidays are sneaking up on us? I cannot get enough of this time of year! No matter what hardships you may be facing, there’s something about the holiday season that brings joy to the surface and helps put everything into perspective in so many ways.

We have four young kids, so the holidays can get a bit hectic. More times than I’d like to admit, it doesn’t always look the way I have it planned in my head. I imagine my children in their perfectly clean clothes, with their perfect manners helping me make perfect holiday treats and crafts. But as every parent knows, that’s just not reality. So, I decided it was time to stop trying to put my kids into a box they don’t fit in and invite the chaos into the holidays. And I found it to be a much more fun place to celebrate!

For me, cooking has always been more of a means to an end because apparently, children need to eat every single day. Baking, though, is where I come alive. I blame my type A personality and love for everything being perfectly measured. I think one thing my kids hear me say more than anything is “everyone out of the kitchen!” I feel like if I can control little areas, like my kitchen, then maybe I have some sort of control in my home.

But every year, when the holiday spirit kicks in, I invite the chaos to join me and welcome them into the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where the messes and the magic happens.

When we welcome our children into the mess, into the heart of our home, they learn what it means to be hospitable. They learn what it means to serve, to share, and to give back. When I step into my kitchen to bake it opens my heart to love more deeply. As I make cookies to share with neighbors or bake bread to take to the kids’ teachers – I’m able to teach my kids how to show the love of Jesus in creative and fun ways.

This is one of my favorite holiday baking recipes you can do with your kids. I want to encourage you this holiday season to invite your kids into the kitchen with you. Let them learn new things, make mistakes, think of ways to serve others, and be hospitable to those around you!

Heart change happens in the kitchen!


Pumpkin Bread


3 ½  Cups Flour

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 ½  tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

2  cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 eggs

⅔ cup water

2 cups canned or baked/boiled pumpkin


In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder.

In the same bowl, add the sugar, oil, eggs, water and pumpkin. (When boiling the pumpkin, press it in a strainer to remove excess water before measuring.) Stir until well blended.

Pour batter into two large or four small buttered loaf pans. Bake at 350 in a preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Remove from pan to cool.