Step away from the Easy-Bake Oven (and if you somehow missed the recall hoopla, click here ), we have some much better options for Little Ones who enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

Like the brand spankin’ new Zebra Mix, the kids’ baking kits that offer more than your average boxed mix. Local husband-and-wife team Lisa Burgess and Brian Alm have kiddos who love to bake, but keeping ingredients on hand and dealing with the mess got a little overwhelming (sound familiar?). So they used their business prowess to make it easier for all of us, and Zebra Mix was born. Three kits have hit the shelves: chocolate chip cookies, brownie bites, and cupcakes with frosting. Why choose Zebra mix over other baking mixes? Two reasons: health concerns and the desire to do more than pour and stir. Made with 70% natural and organic ingredients, Zebra Mix has no preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. Zebra Mix goes above and beyond the call of baked goods with their innovative Safari Maps, which guide kids through the step-by-step process of baking, and include word games, factoids, mazes, time challenges, and art projects. That all adds up to eliminate the need for much adult leadership beyond braving hot ovens.

Bonus: the Safari Map also acts as a placemat.

Zebra Mix
www.zebramix.com
$5.99/kit; Available locally at Whole Foods

And at the other end of the spectrum, if your aspiring Nigella or Wolfgang is ready to step it up a notch, there’s a new cooking class designed to engage kids in cooking while educating them about the importance of nutrition. Seattle-based Chef’n Corporation (they make cool products like collapsible measuring cups and those salt and pepper ball grinders) has partnered with Sur la Table and Good Housekeeping magazine to create the Chef’n Kids cooking program for children ages 8-12. The two-hour class, held at the Kirkland Sur la Table store, incorporates recipes from Linda Collister’s book, Baking with Kids. Participants (kids and parents) prepare four dishes including savory snacks and Cherry Berry Buns while working their way through different stations, using Chef’n tools and gadgets.

Bonus: All participants will receive a Chef’n tote filled with goodies including an apron and Chef’n tools (and a 15% discount of any Sur la Table purchase in store that day).

Chef’n Kids Cooking Class
September 8, at 10:30 am
Sur la Table, Kirkland
$45 per participant (adult or child)
www.chefnkids.com