Cooking with your toddler is the perfect way for you both to spend quality time together and to cement your relationship. However, it can be a little chaotic so don’t expect to create a four course meal or bake a masterpiece.
Follow these steps to ensure you both have an enjoyable and memorable time:
Make sure they can see what you are doing.
At this stage, most toddlers will do more watching than cooking so make sure they can see what you are doing. Prop them up on a small step or stand them on a chair, but make sure they are secure and safe. The last thing you want is your little one to fall when you are elbow deep in flour.
Let them help with little things.
Let them help with small tasks such as stirring batter, handing you utensils or organising the cake cases. This way they will feel involved but not be overwhelmed. You will also benefit from having more control over the situation.
Always start small.
Don’t start with complicated recipes if this is the first time that you have cooked together. Try making easy things like cupcakes, mini pizzas or rice krispie buns before moving on to anything harder. You are less likely to become frustrated with your little one this way.
Make sure the cooking process is more or less instant.
Don’t choose a recipe that takes ages to make or bake in the oven. Toddlers have no real concept of time and they may become impatient if they are waiting too long. The best recipes are the ones where they can lick the bowl or decorate in their own way.
Don’t expect a masterpiece.
Most recipes are too difficult for little ones to really be able to handle so focus your attention on the time spent together rather than the end product.
Cooking is a great way to form a close bond with your little one, just remember to stay patient and go with the flow.