Tuesday 7 February 2017

TODDLER ACTIVITY: Tips for Cooking Together

I absolutely love cooking and it brings a whole new level of enjoyment (and stress) when it comes to cooking with Isabella. She has watched me cook from a very young age, as we always have home cooked meals. I think this has contributed to her curiosity and desire to take part, as well as the fact that she's a toddler and they want to do anything us adults are doing! I thought I'd share some tips for cooking together with a toddler, unfortunately I don't have any tips for a completely stress-free experience though. Those toddler's just love emptying kitchen cupboards, making a mess and trying to eat everything they shouldn't.
Tip #1 - Cook something that you can both enjoy together. I know we are probably in the minority, but we don't allow Isabella to have chocolate or anything high in sugar/salt. This has an impact on the things I'll cook while she's around and the things I'll cook while she's asleep. I wouldn't bake a chocolate brownie, as Isabella wouldn't understand why she couldn't have any. On this occasion we were making a Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup (recipe is here), something we were both going to have for lunch.
Tip #2 - Give your toddler parts of the ingredients to discover while you're dealing with the hot oven. Isabella loves playing with a pan and spoon, even more so when it is filled with things like dried pasta (easier to tidy up than red lentils!) or vegetable peelings. She has a chance to practise stirring, experience the smells of different vegetables and the textures of a variety of foods.
Tip #3 - Keep your toddler at a safe distance from danger, but still within the cooking 'area'. I would absolutely love one of those wooden pods you can get for toddler's to stand in, so that they can safely reach the kitchen surface. However we don't have one, so the highchair is the next best thing. I bring it over to the kitchen island, where Isabella can see what I'm doing and can get involved at appropriate times.
Tip #4 - Cook like you're presenting a cooking show on tv. I'll explain each step to Isabella (while imagining there is a camera crew and the ready stead cook audience watching!), so that she begins to understand the steps of cooking and the names of ingredients.

Tip #5 - Enjoy the results of your cooking together. The washing up can wait!

What are your tips for cooking with a toddler?

Feel free to leave a comment :)

Helen x
Diary of an imperfect mumBest of Worst

You Baby Me Mummy


  1. This is a lovely way of introducing little ones to cooking. I think it really helps with getting them to try new food too. My fussy eater is a lot better when he has helped cook! xxxx #TwinklyTuesday 

  2. I'm all for letting little ines grt involved in the kitchen and looking foreard to poppy getting older so we csn start baking! #bestandworst

  3. I'm all for letting little ines grt involved in the kitchen and looking foreard to poppy getting older so we csn start baking! #bestandworst

  4. My 3 year old daughter loves 'helping' me cook. She stands on a chair to help me and she loves everyvitas minute of it from washing her hands to washing up afterwards. Me bot so much because we wnd up with a soaking wet kitchen floor, wet clothes and bubbles every where. My son always declines when I ask him to join which I'm secretly pleased about or there'd be double the mess. The things we have to do as parents eh ;-)

    Thanks for hosting #bestandworst

  5. Very cute, both my son and daughter love to help us cook too, homemade pizzas are their fave!! Thanks for linking up to this weeks #bestandworst hope to see you again! :)

  6. Great tips. My son loves cooking and sampling as he goes. #bestandworst

  7. Great tips, I want to do more cooking with my toddler. And that soup looks delicious x

  8. I love tip 4. I have to admit I was rubbish at cooking with mine when they were toddlers. I needed your tips. My oldest likes to help get the dinner ready sometimes now, I'll have to try tip 4. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

  9. Love tip number 4! I remember when I first started baking with my son when he was little, I asked him to stir the mixture and he had no idea what that meant! It made me quickly realise that I need to be demonstrating what to do, while explaining to him what I was doing! x #TheList

  10. My little one would be straight into the washing up. He loves it! #bestandworst

  11. Some great tips!! My little one helps me from her wooden highchair next to our long counter and she loves it!
    Thanks for linking to #foodiefriday

  12. I haven't felt brave enough to cook with my little yet I really should but I have made soup with preschoolers where I used to work we had great fun!


  13. These classes will include just about everything that you need to know about cooking, starting from basic recipes that are made in homes everyday to gourmet dishes. kitchen Tip


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