My toddler is always exploring the world and bursting with energy. From the moment he was born he has been observing me in the kitchen. From the moment he could, he has been my most eager little helper. I always indulge him and find a way for him to help me. I find it important he understands what he eats and he learns to appreciate how much work goes into making his dinner.
My toddler surprised me with his cooking. He loves to help create something, and he loves eating his creations. However grown-up I thought the recipes were, my son knows what he likes.
If you are wondering what your toddler can do in the kitchen here’s some things my toddler can do:
- Knead, shape and roll out dough (as he has plenty of practice with play dough)
- Cut soft food like mushrooms, cucumber, cheese with a table knife
- Add ingredients and sprinkle seasoning
- Pealing your boiled eggs
- Stirring (although this does require lots of practice, my toddler toppled over the pancake batter once!)
- Cleaning up afterwards, my toddler can really enjoy washing up, drying and placing utensils back in their right place.
- Tasting and testing
A last and final warning for all young parents: lower your expectations. With their short attention span, toddlers help you for 5 minutes and leave a mess that might take you 10 minutes to clean up. Ironically, they will tell everyone they made this food (with no help what so ever, haha). With time, this will improve, and I promise you the pride on their faces when they get to eat their creations makes it all worth while!
These are our favorites recipes:
1. Pizza – my toddler gets to pick his own toppings. When his creation is done, he can’t wait till the pizza has finished baking. Find the recipe for pizza dough or our favorite topping.
2. Cookies – I make the dough beforehand (without my busy toddler slowing me down). The dough rests in the fridge until my son and I have a moment to make cookies together. We still want to make funfetti cookies together some day!
3. Pancakes – my toddler loves helping me mix the batter and we break eggs together, doesn’t any toddler love breaking stuff? He is in charge of ladling the batter in the pan, I am in charge of frying and flipping the pancakes in the air. Find my pancake recipe here.
4. Sushi – making simple sushi is perfect toddler fun. My toddler eats the (healthy) ingredients before they are even made into sushi! Molding the rice and placing the ingredients in the roll is his task and mommy rolls the sushi and we eat them together.
5. Bread – my toddler loves kneading dough with me. He gets to mold his own rolls, brush them and sprinkle them with his favorite seeds. You could also let your toddler make bread sticks.