We know that it can be easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to feeding our families. When you are contending with picky eaters, time constraints, and sleep deprivation, meal planning and food prep can often feel overwhelming. The BVTMB team along with our sponsor, Healthy Living, is here to provide some fresh perspective and inspiration in the kitchen! From meal ideas to how to feed those picky eaters, we are excited to talk about all things food these next few weeks in our “Growing Up Gourmet, Beyond the PB&J” series.
Top 10 Tips For Baking with Your Toddler
I absolutely love baking with my toddler!
It’s a fun afternoon activity on a rainy day, and it keeps my daughter busy for an hour or two.
Here are my Top 10 Tips For Baking with Your Toddler:
- Find an easy recipe. One that involves mainly mixing ingredients, then baking, is perfect. We tend to stick to baking cookies and fruit breads.
- Let your child choose the “extras.” Add chocolate chips or raisins to your recipe.
- Teach simple lessons. This is a great time to coach your toddler on how to handle food safely, why we wash hands before prepping food, and simple math while measuring.
- Find a safe spot for your toddler to work. I prefer to let my daughter work at a kid-size table or even sit on the dining room table, with supervision, so she can see into the bowl.
- Expect that baking with your toddler will take longer. Allow lots of time to taste ingredients and explore new textures.
- Expect a mess. Flour will get outside the bowl, and a cup of milk may spill on the floor. Try not to let it ruin the experience. Just keep a cloth, garbage bin, broom, and mop handy.
- Substitute eggs in your recipe. Applesauce and yogurt are great egg substitutes. Your toddler will most definitely eat some of the batter and lick the bowl. My daughter sometimes eats more than half the batch, so I like to make sure it’s safe to eat.
- Let your toddler pour the ingredients and stir. It’s the funnest part! You can also put all ingredients in a large (sturdy, and well-sealed) Ziploc bag and let your toddler mash the bag, step on it, and throw it around. We sometimes do this with bananas before we make the banana bread.
- Have a “safety spot” where your toddler always stands when you open the oven. After the pouring and mixing stages are complete, my little one is usually on the move, on to her next activity, but she’s very curious about the baking pan making its journey into the oven. We have a “safety spot,” near the dining-room table where she always stands when I open the oven. Once the door is closed, turn on the oven light, so your toddler can watch the magic happen!
- Have your toddler help clean up. While waiting for your food to finish baking, have your toddler help with tasks like sweeping/mopping the floors and rinsing dishes. We’ve found that using a colander or cutting board across the sink makes the dishes more reachable. I also keep a Swiffer mop on hand and non-toxic cleaner (or just use water) to let my daughter mop.
Most importantly, have fun sharing this experience with your toddler, and take some messy pictures to share!