Another fun thing is "washing apples" in the sink with a bowl & a brush.
We bake at least once or twice a week...since I freeze a lot & pay my babysitter in food, we cook lots of muffins, breads, baked oatmeals, cookies, brownies, etc.
I also let him stir the soup, he really likes that too.
The things I've learned from in the past week:
1) last night, I let him mix measure and mix the ricotta, basil, and crushed red pepper for our spinach rolls. Went great until he put the measuring spoon with red pepper dust on it in his mouth, followed by a very shocked expression (though it was nothing a dollop of ricotta in the mouth couldn't overcome) (lesson: mind the hot spices/peppers)
2) this morning he helped me put spoon some granola into little bowls for our lunches. Also went well until I turned my back and he decided to pour the granola instead...all over the counter. (lesson: remember to pay attention)
3) he helped spoon ingredients into the bread machine the other day. I'm pretty new to bread making and wanted to be very sure that I was measuring precisely. So I measured and he poured what was measured into the bowl. Sort of. Some spilled. Then I turned away and when I turned back he was spooning more flour into the pan (lesson: remove things from his reach when we're not done and/or I'm not paying attention!)
4) a more general lesson: if there is anything I do not want in my meal/baked good, it can't be in his reach. letting him snack on things or drink while cooking usually means that it ends up in the final product (apple slices, dried fruit, water, etc)
Of course, these were good learning experiences for him and me and nothing major was harmed.
You've given me some great ideas for things he can do if I don't have ideas for what he can immediately help me with--scooping lentils, using the salad spinner, etc. These may come handy when I can't fully pay attention! Thanks again.
Also--the learning tower. I've really enjoyed it. We asked for it for Christmas last year (due the expense) and everyone in my husband's family pitched in to get it for us. (It was exactly what I wanted because it cut down on getting many little presents with (sometimes) limited usefulness!) It's been great to have as he was much less steady between 15-18 months. We have a small stool that he uses to climb up onto his tower so he's pretty independent with it. I can see that chairs would be okay at the age he is now, with supervision. As for not wanting him to access the counters, that might be an issue! We have an island, and I have to be mindful of what I leave in his reach (and I have to remember that he's growing and he his reach is getting longer all the time!) I also understand that they can have pretty good resale value (depending where you live). I hope that helps!
I just started, and it's so fun! She loves to help make pizza dough, pie crust and stuff like that. I also let her stir pots on the stove - with a really long-handled spoon of course!
Another kitchen thing she has discovered: unloading the dishwasher. She loves to pull the dishes and utensils out one at a time and hand them to me, and I love the help! I just make sure to take out the knives ahead of time.
We use a folding step stool like this http://www.amazon.com/Cosco-11-135CL...643133&sr=8-15 and it works well. I can have it out when DD is allowed to and fold it & tuck it between the counter/fridge where she can't reach when she is not allowed to use it.
DD also loves washing the dishes. She uses the bottle brush for the sippy cups and regular sponge for plates. I just give her plastic things to wash and she's at it for like 2 hrs! I do put a plastic picnic tablecloth under DD/step stool cuz of splashing.
enjoying motherhood way more than science:
married to DH (2003) mama to DD(Nov 2008) & DS (Mar 2011)
Wow! Thanks so much everyone. I guess what I lack in creativity is made up for in an awesome online community
As a pp said, most of my cooking is cutting up meat/veggies and putting them in a hot pan, but another poster is right...he could help with that if we're careful...he is already super aware that things on the stove/oven are hot (he tells me so every time he gets close!). You've helped me see that if I'm just more mindful of what I'm doing, I can ask him to help me with lots of things!
I had him stand next to me in a chair and put veggies I had cut into a bowl (next day a pan). He really enjoyed helping and listened really well. Now he wants to help all the time. Mostly I let him watch. There's not much else he could do yet.
So Thanks for posting this!!!
DS 10/09 DS 2/17/11 Blessing #3 sometime 2/13
I measured out the ingredients and she stirred them with the whisk. She put in the butter and bacon fat-then she used her hands to crumble the fat into the flour mixture. Then she poured in the milk and we both stirred the batter. She kneaded the dough. She took out small sections of dough and rolled them out (i evened out spots that needed extra help) and then she used the pizza roller to cut the dough into 'noodle' shape (flat long and wide-ish) then she put the dumplings on a sheet of parchment and I put them in the stock pot to cook.
It is surprising what your toddler can do in the kitchen! Dumplings are great because they do not have to be a perfect shape-(no need to roll them out-just use a spoon or your fingers to pinch off little bits of dough and drop into the pot that way) and there is a lot of 'hand' work-like mixing the fat into the flour, etc.
Life loving Mama, married to DH, Mama to DS1 , DS2 , missing our , and another boy born June!
Maybe you could add pizza to your repertoire. Even if you make a batch of dough only once in a while that you then divide and put in the freezer the dough will be fun for your babe to squish and make into his own pizza every time you thaw a ball out to make dinner.
Also, could you make pancakes in the morning? If you buy a mix it's no-brainer.
Another idea might be to buy some of that play food that is made up of velcroed pieces and keep it in the kitchen for when you cook. We played with one of those sets (the make-a-pizza set as it happens) while eating out once and our DS loved playing.
Finally, this may not be in direct response to your question about what to cook with your babe but we baby proofed our cabinets a long time ago and DS just bangs away with all the pots and pans in the kitchen. While I'm cookinghe climbs up into the learning tower for a while and then climbs back down and plays with pots and pans by himself.
How old were your kiddos when you started cooking with them?
(If this seems hijacky, I'll start a new thread )
Proud Mama to West - a delightful 3 yr old who loves to and . Excited for a new little bean in late April 2013!
Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdad and mom to DS 24 months, and DD 8 months! .