Now, I’m no chef. If any one of my family members are reading this they will surely attest to that. Actually, they’re probably laughing at the title – that I even wrote a blog post about cooking at all. I do try though…
I stick to simple recipes & I’m not a picky eater to begin with so, when I mess something up, I’m not usually hell bent over it.
What I find to be the most fun & adventurous is cooking with my toddler. For as long as I can remember he has wanted to be an active participant in whatever we are doing but let’s be honest, that’s not always super practical. Luckily, I know a really handsome man who likes to build things out of wood so, for Christmas last year P got a learning tower. (If you’ve never heard of them, check some out here). It now allows me to keep him close in the kitchen & most importantly, safely stand at the table or counter with me.
Cooking with toddlers is a brave task so, I’ve also been known to get creative. If I’m trying a new recipe or really any recipe at all since I have mom brain & can’t remember a thing, that means I need to pay much closer attention to what I’m doing for a couple minutes & NOT to what the toddler is probably getting into when he shouldn’t be. Which means, I need to help keep him busy too so, that after we have fun & make a big huge mess, we actually have a finished product to show for it!
In an effort to accomplish our end goal & preserve my sanity, I have some simple ideas that I use to help my toddler feel like he’s involved in what we’re doing but also to keep him busy for a few minutes while I tie up the loose ends if you will…
You might think I’m crazy because as your reading this your sweet little monster is sprinkling cheerios on the kitchen floor but I promise you, it can be fun, when the stars align 😉
Cooking with your toddler: 10 Ideas to save your sanity
- Let them pour in ingredients pre-measured by you
- Let them stir the mix or a 2nd “pretend” mix
- Let them cut soft foods with a play knife
- Let them mix or knead dough with their hands
- Let them do a taste test
- Let them roll out the dough
- Let them help from the floor if needed
- Let them separate ingredients into containers
- Let them frost or decorate
- Let them roll the cookies or rolls into balls
- Let them closely watch you & listen as you talk them through the process (and occasionally stick their finger where they shouldn’t)