Cooking with Your Little One
I received sage advice from my pediatrician early on when we were venturing into different foods through the toddler stage. Let the child help with the cooking process! So simple, so easy, yet why as a parent did I not think of it myself? Well I can be honest and my first thought is “I can do it faster on my own!” However, just because I am saving those few precious minutes in the kitchen preparing the meal, doesn’t mean I am saving time during the meal period. (As my child takes FOREVER to finish eating… that is if she is eating, and we are not locked into a debate of “try it, just try it!” There are other great advantageous of having your child participate in making the communal meal for the family. The NAEYC accreditation body posted about four main points that having the child help cook also helps contribute to the development of the child: 1- It allows the child to strengthen their fine motor skills 2- They get a chance to understand basic math concepts and measuring. (As the child gets older they can figure out doubling or halving a recipe which is great for learning fractions) 3- They learn the concept of sequencing and paying attention to detail 4- They are able to expand their vocabulary
The other great factor I have found is that my child is more engaged to eat the food because she has been part of the process. It is her reward for her great work. She is excited about seeing the product start to finish. So, if you are having a hard time with your little one, let them in the kitchen to explore, taste, and create!