For quite a while now I have been thinking about doing some baking or cooking with Monkey but honestly have been too scared by the thought of him being in the kitchen around sharp knives, hot ovens, you get the idea. I may have mentioned once or twice that Monkey is a Fussy Eater, and in my extensive reading about ways to help with that I have read that getting them involved in the kitchen is a good way to go. For example, Supernanny’s Little Chef Technique, but, at risk of repeating myself, knives, hot ovens… aaaagh.
Then one day I was getting dinner ready and he was so unhappy at me being in the kitchen that I let him come in with me. He played on the floor to start with with some cake tins and spoons, then he got interested in the sweet potato I was peeling, so I sat him on the step stool so he could see the worktop and he helped me put the chopped sweet potato into the steamer and the peelings in the bin. Simple things of course but it gave me confidence to try baking or something.
One afternoon after a short nap, I decided to go for it, put his lovely pinny on, and we made a very simple Victoria sponge cake. Unfortunately I am a bit of a control freak and didn’t want him to ruin the cake – no matter how much I told myself it didn’t matter how it turned out, I just couldn’t do it! So he helped me grease the tins etc. then I set him up with a mini bowl and all the ingredients (apart from the raw eggs) and he absolutely loved it.
I let him stir the ingredients for the cake too and he loved licking the spoon and bowl once the cake was in the oven.
He had so much fun and then helped me with the washing up.
He’s been dying to do it again and keeps pulling the step stool up to the worktop. It went so well the first time that I thought we should do it again, this time with some yummy biscuits. I’d made them once before and you can see the recipe here.
Again I’m afraid I got a bit freaked when he was grabbing the ingredients as I measured them in so again he got a little bowl of his own, which he loved so I don’t feel too guilty about it! He helped me stir it all up though and again he loved eating the mixture off the spoon.
The greatest thing about this baking experience was how much he enjoyed it!
He carried on playing way after the cookies were in the oven. I love these pics as he looks like a proper little chef!
He was still playing at the worktop once the cookies were baked and I had washed everything up and even cleaned up around him!He had a brief play at the sink then wanted to get back to ‘his’ square of worktop where he was then happy playing with bowls and spoons… and then had a hilarious moment where he realised he could see his reflection in the food processor. So cute as he was pulling lots of funny faces! haha
It was so much fun and I think the first time ever that we have spent an hour and half on an activity! So I have now overcome my fear of having him in the kitchen (not completely of course, a healthy dose of fear for his safety is permanent I think) and am looking forward to making lots more things with him in the future. Whether it helps his fussy eating, only time will tell.
Oh and the baking resulted in this yummy cake
And these yummy biscuits
Do you like baking with your toddler? What do you like to bake with them?