Ta-da! With these delicious fun recipes, cooking with toddlers becomes incredibly easy. Try it and share your feedbacks in the comments section.
How to cook with toddler?
The energy of the toddler is unmatching and turbo-charged. Finding different ways to channelize their energy is a mind-boggling task. There is no way for a parent to engage their kids with a simple task for hours. My daughter doesn’t show interest in playing along with toys. When she complained too much about her boring activities, I started experimenting with cooking with her.
Not to mention, cooking with her is the most tiresome chore of all, but it is worth it. One, it drained her energy, and she seemed to eat well (without any complaints,) and two, she slept sooner the days she cooked with me. Under my supervision, she helps me even with sauté and stirring. Otherwise, I usually limit her to dough preparation and assisting me with vegetable chopping.
What if your kid doesn’t show interest towards cooking?
Mostly, kids love the kitchen and cooking, because they see their mothers often chopping vegetables and preparing meals. When they start crawling, they usually make their way to the kitchen and try organizing the cutleries. It usually ends up in a mess when they spill the flour or take away the utensils for using it as toys. Sometimes, they end up touching the electric boards or even the gas pipes alarming us to insane levels.
With maternal instincts kicked, we prohibit them from entering the kitchen. That’s how the kid starts to lose interest to cook. As natural as it is to feel annoyed when they make a mess, try to balance out the emotions. It is terrifying when they are too mischievous to harm themselves, but reacting to it could diminish their interest in cooking.
Instruct them in a polite tone of how dangerous it is to touch the gas or electrical appliances. Use the same tone whenever they try to touch it. A child cannot learn it with the first instruction. So, it is essential for the parent to teach them patiently.
If you are a highly-sensitive parent like me, then probably you can seat your kid somewhere safe in the kitchen, and give them a glass and a spoon. Allowing them to observe while you cook is the first step to pique their interest in cooking.
Before you teach cooking to the toddlers, consider safety first. There are many kitchen-friendly tools for kids that you can order from Amazon and other online shopping zones. You can also buy wooden baking sets that come with cute little aprons and cookie cutters. It is better to get an apron, wood baking utensils, and plastic knives.
Even if your kid doesn’t show any interest in cooking, new cutleries could excite them. We all love new utensils, polished and brand-new kitchen sets, don’t we?
Level 1: No-Fire Recipes
If it is the first time to cook with your toddler, then take it slow by starting with these finger-licking recipes which involve no fear:
- Weetabix Breakfast:
The easiest and best of breakfasts is the making of the cereals. All you need for making a bowl of tasty cereals are:
- Weetabix (or any cereal that you like)
- Apples, grapes, blueberries, bananas, strawberries or your favourite fruits. You can also add ripened mango slices to cereals for a sweetening taste.
- Any flavoured yogurt (optional)
Collect all the ingredients, and request the little chef to wash and get the fruits ready for slicing. You could also ask them to chop if they have plastic cutleries or let them assist you in arranging the sliced fruits in plates. Add cereals, fruits, honey, and yogurt to the bowl. You can avoid yogurt if you are not a fan of it. Then, add milk, and ta-da, delicious cereal breakfast is ready. Don’t forget to appreciate the assistance you received from the little chef.
Another tastiest breakfast that makes the kid empty their plate within minutes is Bread and Jam. It is all in the name; you only need bread and jam to make this yummy dish. With a plastic spoon and knife, your chef could do honors in making your breakfast at the bed. Give them options like butter, peanut butter, tomatoes, carrots, or even a piece of chocolate. Let the kid use their imagination to make the bread even better.
P.S.: Do not worry about the mess on the kitchen counter afterward.
Salad is one of the dishes that you can make it your signature at any given time. It is up to the cook’s imagination on what to include in the salad to make it more delicious. Let the kids choose the vegetable (or fruits) they would love to add to the salad.
By choosing their favorite vegetables and fruits, it is a guarantee that the bowl will be empty, and there will be no complaints. Add some salt, pepper, and olive oil to make the salad electrifying. All of these dishes are perfect for kids to do on their own: one, because it doesn’t require intense supervision, and two, the measure of ingredients doesn’t matter.
Level 2: Baking, Frying and Shakes
If you are trying to bake or fry with your toddler sitting on the kitchen counter, take extra care of what they are doing. Also, keep your mind clear and peaceful before you allow them to help you. We cannot ask the kids to be at absolute self-control, but we can be more careful.
At our house, we prepare delicious vegetarian pancakes with all-purpose flour or wheat flour. My daughter loves to eat pancakes topping them with syrup or honey and a piece of butter.
- 1 cup Wheat or All-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- A stick of butter, or 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp baking powder (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
- Oil to spray in pan
Mix the dry ingredients like flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl first. We don’t use baking powder in our pancake recipe. It comes out fluffy without baking powder as well. Add butter or ghee, milk, and sugar to the dry ingredients, and stir until there are no lumps. Again, you can add vanilla essence or skip the step.
Heat the skillet, and wipe the bottom of the pan with oil. Once the pan is hot, pour the batter, and wait until there are bubbles on top of the batter. Once the sides appear dry, use a clean spatula and flip it over. Leave it for a minute or two, and serve the hot pancakes with butter and honey.
You can also refrigerate the leftovers and eat them later.
- Vegetable Pancakes:
A beautiful alternative to the normal pancakes is these vegetable pancakes. You can add any vegetable that could add crunch to the dish after frying. We use carrots, capsicum, onions, and sweet potatoes. For the adult pancake version, if you like it spicier, you can add jalapeno.
Cut the vegetables into thin vertical slices, and measure all the vegetables to one cup. Add ¾ cup of all-purpose flour, ½ tsp salt, and water to the vegetables and mix it well. Prepare the skillet before adding water to the vegetables, as onions could release water to the mixture.
The batter should be in pancake batter consistency and pour it on a hot skillet wiped with oil. You will hear the crunchy sounds of the vegetables in the oil, and once it settles, flip it over. Add some oil and allow the other side to become crunchier too.
You can also prepare vegetable pancakes with just potatoes and onions, which is a more delicious version for kids.
- Carrot/Potato Fries:
It is a fun experiment with your toddlers. Slice the carrots or potatoes in thin vertical slices, mix it with a tablespoon of cornflour, pepper, salt, and olive oil. Spread it on a baking tray lined with a baking sheet. Bake it on the pre-heat oven at 200C for 45 minutes, turning halfway. In addition to the crunchiest snack, you also get to channelize your toddler’s energy into something productive in the evening.
- Banana Shake:
How could anyone say NO to the sweet and tasty milkshakes? Banana milkshakes are the best to let your kid showcase their chef skills. Add thin slices of bananas, sugar, and milk, and blend it on the mixer. You can also substitute bananas with strawberries, apples, or any favorite fruit of your choice.
Try all of these simple yet delicious recipes, and leave us your toddler’s favorite recipe in the comments section. Let us know how much your toddler enjoyed the kitchen-time with you.
See you in the next post. Until then, bye-bye and boop.