Cooking with a Toddler: Helping vs. Participating

March 3, 2015

Ava is pretty hands-on in the kitchen, but not always or usually in a “productive” or “efficient” way. She might pull the greens out of the pot of water, put them in the salad spinner, spin them…and then put the greens on the floor. She wants to hold the carrot peeler and poke the pile of carrot peels rather than holding the carrot peeler with me while I peel. She will proudly carry a small bag of trash to the trash room and then howl when I put it down the trash chute.

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Cooking Dinner with a Toddler: The How

March 1, 2015

I cook dinner pretty much every night during the week. It’s not always easy, but there is a limit to how often we can patronize Maharaja Palace. As you might imagine, or as you might know from first-hand experience, cooking dinner with a baby or a toddler has its idiosyncracies.

I’ve learned to think about the sequence of meal preparation in a whole different way. What can I do with Ava in my arms? What can I do WITH Ava on the floor? What do I have to do by myself (or with Ava strapped to my back) at counter height? What can Ava do to entertain herself while I am chopping vegetables? When do I absolutely have to put Ava in her safe space for a minute?

This is how we do it.

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