Cooking is a life-skill. We benefit so much from cooking such as embracing culture, learning where our food comes from and understanding what ingredients work together.
When it comes to introducing basic cooking skills to a toddler, it is important to let them be creative. A messy kitchen and dirty bowls are certain but by letting your toddler use their instinct and creativity skills, this will lead to a confident and happy cook. Cooking is fun and a great way to relax. There are thousands of recipes out there you can use – no matter what age you are! Let’s start with the basics:
Tools: Bowl & Spoon
Placing essential tools used in the kitchen is a fantastic way for your toddler to identify what is used for basic cooking and preparing. The most practical ones such as a bowl & spoon is a great way to start. Watch what they do with it and explain what it is used for. This should already be a useful starting point for a little helper in the kitchen. (The mixer of course!)
Add some flour and water in the bowl for some playtime fun!
Techniques: Rolling, whisking, kneading, sifting
After showing your toddler certain tools used in the kitchen it’s on with the techniques. ‘Roll those sleeves up!’ . The rolling pin is a fantastic tool to roll and create, how about some basic biscuits or rolling out some dough?
How about the whisk? Whisking can be great fun and it’s actually very energetic. You can be brave and let your child crack an egg in the bowl or use some regular milk and make some bubbles. Whisk away!
Kneading dough is a great task for a child loves that play-doh feeling. Just pull and fold or roll the dough around , I’m sure they will create an ‘original’ loaf! If you cook your child’s creations they will be over the moon.
Using a sieve is another tool that your child is bound to love using. Watching flour go into the bowl in a soft and fluffy texture is going to get messy but teaching various techniques in baking and cooking will ensure a happy & confident cook!
Teaching Safety: Hot! Sharp! Raw!
Of course the kitchen can be dangerous too. Big ovens with buttons, gas hobs and knives left, right and centre. My son loves to come in the kitchen and touch everything so I have to explain there are certain things that grown-ups must use instead on him.
If your child want’s to cook all the time, maybe placing red stickers on dangerous tools or objects is a way of telling them it’s dangerous, ‘adult’s only’. You will find a way, but don’t scare them away from the kitchen.
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