Whole Grain Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce – Cooking with Kids Recipe

Before summer completely gets away from us, the kiddos and I wanted to make a fun recipe that not only tastes great but is just as exciting to make, as it is to eat.

The vote was for a soft pretzel with cheese, a common sporting event or fair food that so many of us are drawn to….despite our good-intentioned efforts to stick with healthier options (as if there were an abundance of those at the fair…). So, we tweaked the recipe to healthify it a little bit, and away we went.

The kids really enjoyed cutting the dough, then almost jumped right out of their chairs when we added baking soda to the boiling water. They thought it was so cool how it foamed up.  It was a lot of fun, but please take proper precautions and add slowly when doing this step to avoid burning and spill over.

Have fun and enjoy this one, we sure did!

OK, let’s get started.  Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Small and large mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Large and small saucepan
  • Whisk or fork
  • Basting brush
  • Kid friendly knife
  • Slotted spoon


Every child’s ability varies depending on maturity or cognitive and physical ability.  Parents need to use their own discretion when assigning tasks.  These are general guidelines for the Whole Grain Soft Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce.

Younger than 3 years old

  • Name and count ingredients with child
  • Help scoop ingredients
  • Sprinkle salt on dough bites

3 – 5 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Measure and count ingredients
  • Help with mixing dough
  • Cut dough into bite size pieces using a kid friendly knife
  • Brush dough bites with egg wash

6 – 7 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Divide the dough into 4 sections and roll the dough into a long rope shape
  • Crack egg into small bowl
  • Beat egg/water with a whisk or fork

8 – 9 years old

  • All of the younger tasks

10 – 12 years old

  • All of the younger tasks
  • Boil water
  • Use oven to bake pretzel bites

Precaution: It is recommended that an adult adds the baking soda to the boiling water.


  • Wash everyone’s hands!
  • Clean all work surfaces before starting.
  • It is okay for your kitchen to get a little messy.
  • Keep in mind that your child is learning, so patience is key!

Whole Grain Soft Pretzel Bites

Prep Time22 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 50 -75 pieces
Calories: 121kcal
Author: Stacey Weichelt, RDN, CD


  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup warm milk
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat white flour
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ Tbsp flaxseed ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • Coarse salt


  • Preheat oven to 450℉.
  • Add warm milk, yeast and honey to large mixing bowl. Let mixture rest to allow yeast time to activate, approximately 5 minutes. The mixture will become a little foamy.
  • Next, add salt, flour and flaxseed. Mix until dough forms a ball and the dough is tacky. If you find the dough to be too sticky, you can add a little more flour until you get the desired tacky consistency.
  • Place the dough on a clean and sanitized counter. You do not need to flour the surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Take 1 portion and roll into a long rope shape, approximately 1 ½ feet long. Repeat for each portion of the dough. Next, take each rope of dough into 1 ½ inch pieces. Depending on your cut and thickness of the roll, it will create approximately 50-75 bites.
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Next, very carefully add baking soda to water. Caution: this will bubble up. Boil 10-12 dough bites at a time for 1 minute. It works best to remove with a slotted spoon. Place boiled dough bites on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • While the water is heating, beat egg and 1 tsp of water in a small bowl with a fork. Brush each dough bite with egg wash and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake for 7-9 minutes at 450℉ until brown.
  • Enjoy with dipping in warm cheese sauce recipe below.

Cheese Sauce

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time13 mins
Author: Stacey Weichelt, RDN, CD


  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup shredded cheese


  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute.
  • Add milk to butter/flour mixture and stir frequently until mixture starts to bubble and thicken slightly.
  • Remove mixture from heat and add shredded cheese. Mix until smooth.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!


  1. 5 stars

    The cheese sauce looks amazing! I’m also struggling for a healthier me, I’ve even start running with SportMe marathon training app and I can say I’m on the right track now. Nutrition is an important part of my losing weight plan, and your blog posts are a true inspiration!

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