There are only 2 more tips left in this serious. How have you done? Is your kiddo eating more of a variety of foods?
Make it Together
This is a fun one and a scary one all at the same time. Fun because you are in the kitchen standing side by side with your little one making a dish that you will savor together, but scary because you never know what kind of mess, food fight or kitchen tool they might grab when you are not looking.
Trust me, the scary part will just become part of the adventure in it all. So put on an apron, roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and get cooking together.
The reason I am such a big advocate for having your kid help you in the kitchen is that you will be amazed at how much more they are going to eat of a dish when they help make it. Even though they are young, they take pride in their work. They enjoy and get excited by helping put all of the ingredients into something and then seeing and being able to eat the final result. Cooking together will also teach your child about how important whole foods are and how to make sure they are eating enough of them.
Cooking together can start at any age. For babies, you can place them in a bouncy seat or high chair and let them be in the kitchen with you while you are cooking. For toddlers and older kiddos, they can participate with some of the cooking themselves - mixing, measuring, pouring, sneaking bites of food, etc. Of course anything involving sharp knives, the stove or heat I do myself. I did find this lettuce knife that works great for the older kiddos to be able to help with some of the slicing and dicing.
If your little one shows absolutely no interest in making food with you, no problem. They can participate in other ways:
- They can help decide what is going to be on the menu for that night.
- You can find them a place in the kitchen that is near you while you cook but they are doing their own activity - coloring, homework, puzzles, reading a book, etc.
- They can become your taste tester to make sure you are making their recipe correctly.
Links to Recipes that Toddlers can help with:
- Get a sturdy stool for your little one to stand on while helping cook in the kitchen. Their own personal kid size apron is also fun and inexpensive to have.
- With your child, pick out ahead of time one dish you want to make together.
- Set aside enough time to make the dish. It will take a little more time to get all the prep work done, ingredients mixed and cleaned up then if you were going to make the dish by yourself.
- Make sure to congratulate your little one for how amazing their dish is and praise them for being such an amazing chef.