What's fun, trivial, and messy all over? Cooking in the kitchen with toddlers!
Cooking can be a very delicious learning experience for your toddler. Whether it's measuring, counting, cleaning, following directions, nutrition, introducing them to new textures, flavors and smells, or exploring new foods, there are so many life skills to be learned from a cooking lesson in the kitchen. Best of all, it's not learning to your child - it's just plain fun!
Here are some quick tips I like to follow when cooking with toddlers:
- Always start by washing hands!
- Ask your child to stir with a fork; they are less likely to fling batter at you and the wall!
- Have your child fill a measuring cup using a spoon; it takes them a bit longer, they have to be a little more focused, but you also won't get a heaping 1/2 cup of flour! Older kids can use measuring as a chance to practice some math skills.
- Set clear rules about the stove and oven, as well as sharp knives.
- Make clean-up part of the cooking experience. Your sink may end up as a water table, but everything will get clean eventually!
If your kiddo really enjoys the experience, gifting them their own MasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set can be a really fun treat for your chef-in-training. There are also several lines of safe and ergonomic kitchen knife and produce prep sets on the market.
Cooking with toddlers may take a little longer but it's just as much about the process as it is the product. Also, if you can't take the heat, ask a grandparent - for some reason they are always happy to take on these projects *wink*wink*.
What do you like to cook in the kitchen with your toddlers?
Wife and mother of two boys, Joanne recently moved from suburbia Maine to Manhattan - quite the change of pace and trade of lifestyle! Navigating her way in New York City has provided lots of laughter, tears and confusion for the whole family, but Joanne takes it all in stride and aims to keep the family chaos to a minimum. She loves to spend her days at the park, savors every date night, enjoys time in the kitchen and out shopping, and possibly spends too much time on Pinterest...