Get Cooking with the Kids

Schools are out, you’re working from home, and trips to the store are minimized. It’s no wonder that cooking from scratch is on the rise and more families are spending time cooking together.

I grew up in the south and one of my favorite memories was sitting on the kitchen counter helping my mom dip chicken in the egg wash and flour to make fried chicken. We’d do small pieces that came in a bag too. They’d cook quickly and I’d snack on them while waiting for the large pieces to fry.

I taught my older son to cook because it’s much easier as a single mom to keep a child busy by involving them. He’s now 24. This year he cooked a “Friendsgiving” on his own and has a meal plan to get through the next few weeks.

I now have a toddler and a baby. I still pull up a kitchen chair and get him involved as much as possible. We all know toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, but I’ve found that when he helps to make a meal he’s more likely to eat it. He recently proclaimed that the entire tray of cornbread was HIS CORNBREAD!

Here’s my picks for toddler approved foods to make together:

Baking: anything they can mix or decorate is usually a winner. Additionally making cookies that you form into balls first are loads of fun and so are drop biscuits (showing my Southern roots there)

Things you “Assemble”: My son loves making burritos probably because I let him spoon things in to layer meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa etc. The same holds true for mini pizzas. My sister in law uses English Muffins as a base which her daughter loves. He loves making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches especially if I sing the song. “Then you spread it, you spread..peanut peanut butter and JELLY” Parents of toddlers everywhere are singing along with me.

Things you Dump: When I was pregnant with my daughter and knew I’d be facing a third trimester on my own because of my husband’s travel schedule I developed a close relationship with my crockpot. It’s great because the majority of these recipes start out with cold ingredients that my son can dump in: a can of tomatoes, chopped vegetables etc. Speaking of chopped vegetables, salads are a big hit as well!

If you plan to get your toddler in the kitchen, remember this is not a time for perfection. Approach this with patience and enthusiasm. They will be excited about cooking if you’re excited at what they’ve created. Take pictures so they can look at it later or show family members. At dinner, I always make a big deal of what HE made and how good it is and thank him for making us such a great dinner.

They will love it and one day your toddler will grow up and cook you a Mother’s Day breakfast that you’ll actually want to eat.

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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