top of page

Cooking with Toddlers and Cultivating Connection in the Kitchen

Cooking with toddlers is more than just preparing a meal, it's a fun adventure that fosters numerous benefits for the whole family.

a child measuring out baking powder while making a recipe with all the ingredients  and a stand mixer in from of her

It may be daunting to think of how your kitchen will look after your toddler is involved with the meal prep or how you'll give them a chance to practice skills without slowing you down. Personally, I think cooking with toddlers is much easier than people make it out to be (especially on social media) and I'm sharing tips and tricks I've learned along the way from cooking with my littles to help inspire you to do the same!

Tips for Cooking with Toddlers:

Keep it Simple

  • Don't expect a toddler child to do multi-step directions with you, especially if they aren't interested/curious about cooking, which sometimes takes time. Start with basic mixing or pouring as the main activity they engage in with you.

  • If your child has started counting, you can tell them to add X amount of scoops, or pour something for x amount of seconds.

Boost Independence and Confidence

  • Once your child is showing interest, boost their independence by allowing them to be the mixer (not you holding their hand while mixing), or allow them to be the pourer (and not trying to micromanage the exact amount of liquid they pour), or give them their own set of kid-safe plastic serrated knives to cut soft fruit like bananas.

  • Once a child is a little older (closer to 3 years) I love showing them how to crack eggs. It's an exciting experience for the whole family to be part of and makes funny home videos to look back on one day.

Have a Goal in Mind

  • If your goal is to spend time with your child, then you won't be so annoyed when the flour ends up in all the nooks and crannies of your counter and cupboards.

  • Some simple goals to keep in mind: pouring independently, mixing independently, using a cookie cutter correctly, spending time together, working on patience together, allowing them to (safely) identify warm vs. cold

Change Your Mindset

  • If you have conditioned yourself to believe that cooking with toddlers is messy, annoying and frustrating, that is the experience you'll get.

  • Mindset changes: "I enjoy teaching my child how food is made", "I get to practice patience with my child in a tangible way", "This experience gives my child an opportunity to test their curiosity".

There are many benefits to inviting the young ones into the kitchen which I'm sure you've thought about but maybe haven't acted on. My challenge for you if you're the one who wants to give your children more cooking and baking experiences is to invite them in to pour/mix/or kid-safe knife chop just ONE thing per day. You'll begin to realize this habit not only cultivates a closer relationship between them and cooking, but with you and your family as a whole.

For more daily inspiration you can find me on instagram: @allaroundgoodness_



bottom of page