We are having so much fun cooking with our toddler and a lot of our success goes to the toddler friendly cooking tools that we use! Child sized utensils and quick and easy recipes make cooking with toddlers more fun for everyone.
Will your child rub the food in their hair? Maybe! Will food end up on the floor? DEFINITELY! Roll with it and take on a calm, confident attitude to set the tone. Don’t force your toddler to help if they don’t want to. Get ready to get messy and have some fun! Keep it positive and instead of scolding or stressing, praise your toddler when he or she does something right and use positive phrases by describing what you want them to do, not what you don’t want them to do.
Helpful toddler cooking phrases: stir carefully, pour this in please, hands off, let me help, can you sprinkle this, sit down please, pass me the spoon. If you avoid saying “no” and steer away from negative language you will certainly see a difference! Your toddler will hear more of what you want and you won’t have to nag! Try to avoid negative phrases like: don’t touch, no rubbing, that’s making a mess, don’t stand on the table, don’t throw it, and no. I find verbalizing the behavior that you do not want from them us very, very ineffective. It can be hard to get used to using positive phrases but just remember: say what you WANT them to do, not the other way around. It makes more sense to their little developing brains! I use this strategy as much as I can and I love focusing on positive parenting.
Helpful Toddler Cooking Tools:
Small Rubber Spatula
Toddler Made Veggie Omelets:
- 8 eggs
- 3 c fresh spinach
- 1/2 c cottage cheese
- 1/2 c shredded cheese
- 3 green onions
- 1/4 c chopped sun dried tomatoes
- Before you bring your tot over to help: crack eggs, , measure cheeses, wash green onions and measure sun dried tomatoes. Wilt the spinach. Place the spinach in a glass bowl and microwave dry for about 30 seconds then stir, letting it steam and wilt down. Wrap in paper towels and squeeze out extra liquid so omelets won’t be soggy.
- With your toddler: whisk eggs, mix in cooled spinach, cheeses, chop onions with a crinkle cutter and stir in tomatoes.
- Pour into greased silicone baking cups and bake at 350 until set, about 20- 30 minutes.
- Cool completely then flash freeze on a baking sheet with wax paper until completely frozen. Store frozen in a large freezer bag.
3 c of spinach wilted and dried
Flash Freezing is a great freezer cooking trick! If you were to toss the omelets into a freezer bag without flash freezing they would freeze stuck together. I use flash freezing for berries, muffins, veggies, veggie burgers, and all kinds of things that might clump freeze.
We added the oven omelets to our freezer and defrost in the microwave for one minute for an easy protein packed breakfast. I also made two freezer dinners this week White Chicken Chili and Quinoa Tacos. I doubled the chili recipe and had 1 fresh and 4 to freeze. The quinoa recipe I did not double and we had 2 fresh (dinner and lunch) and 3 to freeze. Try freezing the chili in rectangle containers and the quinoa in freezer bags.
If you want to follow my schedule here’s how I had time to do it all:
Sunday- Toddler Made Veggie Omelets in the morning. I also threw a spaghetti squash in the oven while the omelets baked, then packaged it in tiny bowls to freeze for a toddler side dish. I started the white beans before nap time and packaged them to freeze before dinner.
Monday- Black Beans started at breakfast and packaged to freeze at nap time.
Tuesday- Quinoa Tacos at dinner time.
Thursday- White Chicken Chili started in the slow cooker in the morning.
An extra way I saved money and sodium was making the black and white beans for the recipes. Just throw them in the slow cooker like I showed you last week! The white beans gave me extra to make white bean dip for a snack and I froze my leftover black beans for future recipes. If you don’t have time to do your own beans, no worries! Just buy no salt added canned beans.
My freezer is starting to get full! Is yours? Just set easy goals like: one double crock pot recipe per week and one toddler meal. Once you get in the swing of freezer cooking you won’t even have to plan it out, it will just be your way of life!