Cooking with children can be a scary concept, isn’t it?
Don’t touch that!
Hot! Stay back!
Put that away, we’re eating soon!
No, you can’t eat peanut butter with your finger!
The kitchen is an attracting place for kids, chock-filled with loads of things they shouldn’t play with, and appliances that can seriously hurt them. Of course, that doesn’t stop them from being curious about them though, does it? Hot stove, oven, glass and such does not make for a safe place for children to play. At all. But oh, how they’re enthralled with the food haven in our homes, aren’t they?
What to do? Cuz ya can’t banish them from it altogether, y’know?
Taking the proper precautions, it can be a beautiful experience made of memories. Really, there’s nothing better than letting your child help you while preparing the family’s dinner and spending quality time with your toddler, empowering her to make her feel like she’s a huge help, even if it is in a small way.
And there’s no cost involved, other than taking a few extra minutes to prepare something. Really, the cost of a few minutes of your time is priceless to their self-esteem. Go on, let them help, it’s really easy. Look!
Let them help you make mashed potatoes, by putting the chopped potatoes into the pot.
She took her job seriously, and diligently helped each piece in proudly. It took maybe 5 or so minutes extra, but the end result? A toddler who felt prouder than proud, chest out, smiling widely, and a parent thankful for the adoration by way of baby hugs in return.
You don’t have to whip out all the gates, locks and gadgets-a-plenty, creating this huge kid-proofed experience to enable your child to help you. You can simply plop them on the counter beside you (perhaps a hand on their leg for protection), and in a span of five minutes, fill them with the ability that they are master and commanders of your kitchen, no matter how small the task may seem to you, it means the world to them.
And to you.
Because in that instant? You’re teaching your child, and that is invaluable time spent.
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