Cooking food with your children around can be both fun and stressful depending on their age and curiosity. While most parents opt for excluding their toddlers from the cooking process, you can easily turn it into a small and playful learning experience without looking for any professional help on how to do it. It’s true that cooking with your toddler can get pretty messy, pretty fast, so let’s take a look at 5 tips that can make the experience worth your while.
Prepare the kitchen
Before cooking anything or even putting water to boil, it’s a good idea to prepare the kitchen for the arrival of your toddler. Putting all the pans, bowls and ingredients in their place beforehand is a good way of avoiding any trouble later on. Your toddler might wander off from their designated sitting place or become too curious for their own good and start tasting spices.
Put everything far enough from them so they can’t reach anything they shouldn’t. While the process doesn’t require a step-by-step guide in itself, it’s always a good idea to give your toddler something to do. Babies are curious by nature, and giving them a chance to help in their own small way is a great introduction to early cooking.
Chances are that your cooking process will require heating up water or cutting up vegetables into small pieces – onions and peppers included. Make sure that your toddler doesn’t have access to any of these items. Their safety should be your number one priority.
Putting on small gloves and an apron on them is a good way to avoid most of the serious threats to their hands, nostrils and eyes. They won’t know how dangerous or threatening kitchen hardware is until they test it out themselves. By then, it will be too late to do anything about it. You can create a small checklist of all the things you need to do before putting your child in cooking’s way just like you would if you were looking for a writing service online – check off all the items on the list before starting your cooking process.
Clean before and after
Cooking with a toddler can be a messy business. Even if you give them a rudimentary task such as mashing a carrot into small pieces or stirring an egg yolk, chances are that it will turn out to be a fun little disaster. This is something you need to be prepared for before doing anything in your kitchen.
If you were wondering how difficult it can be to find a guide on how to write a dissertation, wait until you see the state of your kitchen after you and your toddler are through with it. Make sure that you clean your child thoroughly before letting it near the kitchen. Wash their hands, their face and put them into old clothes that you won’t mind washing afterwards.
Once the cooking process is done, give them a proper bath and thoroughly clean the kitchen – your toddler might have hidden a piece of potato or poured some salt on the floor without you knowing. While fun and entertaining, cooking with a toddler is also a gamble in itself – you never know what might happen in the end.
Show and tell
Even though they are young and fairly unaware of what’s going on, explaining the cooking process to your toddler is a wonderful idea. Keep everything as simple as possible and try giving them a chance at mimicking your hand gestures. Using your toddler as a tasting expert is also a good way to involve them as much as possible.
Just as you would conduct a research on a topic you are unaware of, taking your cooking process slowly is a sure way of knowing that your toddler is following along. Don’t rush the process of preparing ingredients and give them as much control as possible at their young age. You will thank yourself down the line when they subconsciously start taking interest in cooking and actually be good at it because of your patience.
Take your time
You might not be aware of it at first, but cooking with a toddler can take a lot of time and patience. Don’t lose your temper just because your child is taking forever to the task you have given them. Put yourself in the position of looking for writing help online and you will understand how your young child feels like in this position.
They will be mostly confused by what’s going on but mainly happy and interested in knowing more. Allow them the opportunity to spend some quality time with their parent and learn something new through game and entertainment.
No one says that cooking with a toddler is easy – it’s just the opposite. The thing is that parents who take their time and spend time teaching their toddlers small things about how life works have a much easier job later on.
Kids who get this kind of attention are much more responsible and playful, not to mention closer to their parents. Make your cooking experience fun and memorable by including your youngest in the process without thinking too much about it – nothing bad can happen if you take proper precautions.