I can’t claim to be an expert on cooking with small children as I just started with Drake. In fact, I don’t think you’ll ever hear me say I’m an expert on anything. It’s not my way. Even though Drake is only beginning in the kitchen, I have learned so much! I love having him help me! So far we made pancakes twice, pizza crescent rolls, and he has chopped a banana. He’s even cracked an egg on his own! (And I fished the shell out after.)
There are many reasons I decided to cook with Drake, but the main one is that I wanted to give him an opportunity to complete a project and feel proud of his hard work. I love seeing him confident and proud.
Some Tips (especially if your tot is as wiggly as mine!)
Stay safe. I won’t give too much guidance here because only you know what your child is capable of doing safely. For Drake, I save cooking on the stovetop and sharp knives for me. I let him chop with a butter knife though.
Prepare your space, ingredients, and tools ahead of time. Just take everything you need out. You don’t want to be distracting looking for a measuring cup when there’s a big bowl of flour sitting in front of your curious toddler. Clear a large space for them to make a mess in.
Speaking of messes… It is messy! The more you let your little one do, the messier it becomes. I usually have a lot of clean up! I’m hoping to include Drake more in the cleaning soon though.
Expect the unexpected. Drake has always had an independent streak. He doesn’t quietly wait for my next instruction. He takes the lead, dumping in the milk I just poured or grabbing the whisk and mixing a bowl that is not ready for mixing. He plows forward confidently and sometimes erroneously.
Avoid negative comments. They’re learning and experimenting. If they spill half a cup of sugar on the floor… well that isn’t great, but it isn’t the end of the world. For myself at least, it is more important to cultivate his joy of cooking before we worry about anything else.
Why I love Cooking with Drake
Drake loves being in the kitchen with me! And it gives us a special time to bond. We finally have a shared interest! (Sorry Drake, I don’t love Thomas the Train the way you do.)
Drake is gaining basic cooking skills, and he is learning to enjoy the work. I didn’t learn to cook until I was well into my 20’s, and I wish I had more experience.
Drake is getting practice completing a project that takes multiple steps and requires that he follow directions. These are areas we need to work on with Drake.
Beware, there is one drawback. Now he wants to help cook ALL THE TIME, and it’s not practical. Sometimes there isn’t much for him to do, and sometimes the kitchen is not kid ready. (Our kitchen is small so I tend to keep the kids out.) I love, love, love that he wants to help and enjoys it, but sometimes I just have to get dinner on the table!
All in all, Drake and I are having a ton of fun cooking together, and I’m so happy I gathered enough courage to try it with him.
Welcome to the family!
We are a laid back, fun, family of four living on a dime in 700 square feet. Life might not be perfect, but every moment of every day, it is beautiful.