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MonaLeigh
08-22-2008, 11:46 PM
I'm pitching a list article to Parents Magazine. I'm looking for ways parents have their toddlers help out in the kitchen. For example, I have a 2 1/2 year old who loves to put groceries away, or throw food I've cut up into bowls. I'm looking for a few quotes. Thanks!:)

jennontheisland
08-22-2008, 11:55 PM
The Boy loves cooking. He's 5 now, but he's been helping cook since he was 2. I would give him a butter knife and a mushroom to chop while I was making spaghetti sauce.

He loves adding the dry ingredients to the wet when we make cupcakes. And putting the papers in the cups has always been his job.

I made it a rule that if he wanted to cook, he had to help wash the dishes. He loves using the sprayer to rinse the bubbles off the dishes.

Last year he got a kids sized apron, chef's hat and oven mitts for Christmas. He has his own measuring cups too.

Monkey
08-23-2008, 12:25 AM
My son also likes adding in dry ingredients or stirring wet ones. He scrubs the especially dirty pots and pans while they soak so that when I get to them they're practically clean (and no, you can't borrow him!).

My daughter (1) and my son (4) both like playing with pots and pans in the floor while I cook. Not really a help on the surface of it, but it's a huge help in that it makes them easier for me to watch while I get the food made. To facilitate this, I keep my lesser-used pots and pans in a spot easy for the kids to access and frequently give them things like fake food or peanuts or something to put in the pots and stir.

Mr Flibble
08-23-2008, 12:35 AM
Measuring was always a favourite for my two, especially with the old fashioned scales where you have weights you can play with.

Mixing was always fun too ( if messy lol)

My daughter has always loved to wipe clean the cupboard doors. She has a little cut down broom and she loves sweeping.

Oh and as my washing machine is in the kitchen, sorting clean washing into different piles for different people, matching socks etc.


My daughter (1) and my son (4) both like playing with pots and pans in the floor while I cook. Not really a help on the surface of it, but it's a huge help in that it makes them easier for me to watch while I get the food made. To facilitate this, I keep my lesser-used pots and pans in a spot easy for the kids to access and frequently give them things like fake food or peanuts or something to put in the pots and stir. I always used to do this too.

chevbrock
08-23-2008, 04:51 AM
My one year old daughter loves to help in the kitchen. She loves to help empty the dishwasher and re-load it. She also likes to put the vegies in the cooking container once they are chopped up (of course, she usually needs to sample one or two pieces to ensure freshness!)

She will also get the frozen corn cobs out of the bag and put them in the cooking container. She also likes to press the button to start the microwave.

Stacia Kane
08-23-2008, 05:06 AM
My three-and-a-half-year-old loves to add dry ingredients too. She loves spreading frosting on a cake, and is actually pretty good at breaking eggs (although she's better at separating them.)

MonaLeigh
08-23-2008, 05:49 AM
My three-and-a-half-year-old loves to add dry ingredients too. She loves spreading frosting on a cake, and is actually pretty good at breaking eggs (although she's better at separating them.)
That's a good one; I bet my son would love that. Maybe we'll do cupcakes tomorrow. :)

C.bronco
08-23-2008, 05:51 AM
The Tellytubbies had a good apple pie recipe on one episode. My boy made his first apple pie when he was 3.
It was awesome! Now he's in charge of making apple pie. He's also made pizza, cake, muffins, fruit salad, and green beans.

Evaine
08-23-2008, 06:46 PM
One of my earliest memories is of being lifted to sit on the counter next to the cooker, where I was given a spatula to carefully flick hot fat over frying eggs in the frying pan.

Sarita
08-23-2008, 06:53 PM
My two-year old, Finn loves to cook. This morning, we made blueberry pancakes. I gave him the appropriate measuring cup and he scooped and added the flour to the eggs and milk. Then he measured into the batter as many blueberries as he wanted (talk about blueberry overload, but they were delicious!)

He always helps put the vegetable waste into a bowl for the compost pile and takes the needed ingredients out of the refrigerator for me. I keep him busy with tasks and have a chair set up at the counter opposite the stove, so there's no risk of him getting burned.

When he's all done with his "cooking" he stands on his chair and says, "Momma, I'm going to watch you cooking!"

RJK
08-23-2008, 06:55 PM
My son does most of the cooking in his household (he used to be a chef), they have a complete miniature kitchen set up next to the real kitchen where his sons (both under 5) cook right along with dad.

Tsu Dho Nimh
08-23-2008, 08:08 PM
I was playing "nanny" for several months because my sister was laid up with a back injury, and had a 4-year oldand an 11-month old.

My niece ... barely toddling at about 11 months ... loved to play in the kitchen cupboards. I carefully moved all the heavy things to the upper shelves and stocked the lower shelves of the pantry with plastic containers, small canned goods and small boxes like raisens and pudding mix. She would happily spend an hour or so happily moving things around, stacking and unstacking things, taking an occasional sip from her water cup.

It didn't occur to me that she might have the hand strength to open the boxes. She did! She also had a serious craving for raisins ... and as far as we could figure out, when one of the boxes yielded the glorious golden treats, she systematically opened all the boxes and discarded the ones without raisins.

I had been keeping one ear out for her, heard the usual happy "playing in the kitchen" noises for about half an hour, and had an occasion to go into the kitchen.

OMG!!!! There sat a very happy toddler, surrounded by gutted boxes. Her entire body was encrusted with varicolored pudding and jello mixes, studded with raisins. She had poured her water onto the floor and was fingerpainting and "splatting" her gaudy mud pie mix. Unfortunately, there was no film for the camera.

I held her under the shower while my sister scrubbed her down ... and the raisins did unmentionable things to her digestive system for a couple of days.


************
Her brother, the 4-year old, was very good about helping me mix things, decorating the salad with precisely placed tomato slices, unloading the dishwasher, and even setting the table although he had to climb on a kick-stool to do it. He took a lot longer than I would have, but he was having somuch fun doing it. (His wife now appreciates his kitchen skills)

He loved to help with the trash- had a huge Tonka garbage truck he ran to all the wastebaskets, emptied one into the truck and made a run back to the kitchan trash ... lots of activity out of each wastebasket. :)

CathyB
08-24-2008, 12:20 AM
Hey, Lisa! I wanted to tell you that Pillsbury used to offer a kids' cooking set that was so cute! My kids had them, and I still keep them in the drawers because they're well made and just kind of near. You could check Pillsbury to see if they still offer that set. I know a lot of good kids' cook books are out there, too, which might be a nice sidebar for a longer article, or a little mention in a shorter one.

Snowstorm
08-24-2008, 03:04 AM
No kids, but it reminds me of the time my four-year-old niece wanted to help me bake a cake. I gave her an egg to hold and told her, "Now, don't drop it."

She nodded a very solemn nod, and held the egg so tight she squished the egg!

Life's little pleasures.