10 Ideas for Cooking with your Toddler

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. Cooking with your Toddler : 10 Ideas for saving your SanityFor 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)

Cooking with Toddlers : 10 Ideas to save your Sanity. Mumsorchardhouse.com

Cooking with Toddlers : 10 Ideas to save your Sanity. Mumsorchardhouse.com

As you play around with the idea of letting go of controlling the mess (please tell me I’m not the only one who does that sometimes) or controlling the outcome, (No, you’re cake will not look like the cover of Betty Crocker’s cook book) hopefully you will find a way to enjoy including the whole family in cooking meals or baking treats. For now, I’ve been able to find a happy level of participation that works best for us at this stage.
As the mum or dad to an ever-changing little being, nothing will ever be perfect. You will always have moments & days when you want to pull your hair out but hopefully, more often than not, you’ll be laughing at how much fun you had getting messy with your kid. Cause’ that’s the kind of stuff they’ll remember…
Good eats,

14 thoughts on “10 Ideas for Cooking with your Toddler

    • I’m so thankful for my handy man! My honey-do list gets a little long sometimes too but this was a Christmas gift that he made as a total surprise! Maybe someday I’ll get him to do a blog post on how to make it!

    • Congratulations! You have so much fun in store. Allow yourself some grace and enjoy the little things. I hope you subscribe & come back for more fun when your little one arrives 🙂

    • ahh I totally get it & I’ll be honest with you, “letting go” isn’t as easy for my partner who has a bit of OCD but he has come a long way! Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts. Happy Cooking!

Join the discussion!