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Cooking with Kids: Fun Foods Your Toddler Will Love to Make and Eat

The toddler years are my latest favorite time of my daughter’s life. I know… I felt the same about the baby years too. but, that’s another story. Anyway, the reason I love toddlerhood so much is that it gives me a chance to let my daughter be involved with me in various chores and activities around the house and have fun too. Cooking and time in the kitchen is one such fun activity that we look forward to and makes mealtimes more enjoyable.

We don’t do anything fancy or out-of-the ordinary but then it’s the simple stuff that rocks our world, right? Here are some fun foods that we love to make together:

 Funny Face Sandwiches

Sandwiches are a hit with our daughter. She loves them with jam, cheese, mashed eggs, veggies or even, plain butter. But what makes them special is a funny face. She helps cut the bread into rounds using a simple cookie cutter and then, spreading the jam and finally, drawing those squiggly lines for a funny face with either ketchup (yes, I know jam and ketchup?) or jam diluted with water. You can also use finely chopped veggies (carrots, spring onions and tomatoes) to make eyes, nose and a mouth.

 Cakes, Cookies and Cupcakes

Baking is by far our most favorite activity. She’s been watching me bake ever since she was a baby. I used to take her rocker and put it in the kitchen while I whipped up a cake or a batch of cookies. Now, she joins me. She brings the flour, helps mix the batter and then, proceeds to lick the batter bowl clean. ***laughing*** Here are a couple of easy-to-make cake recipes that I use when baking with her. In fact, she loves baking so much, I’m considering buying this Williams Sonoma Kids Baking book for her birthday present in March.

 Fruit Oatmeal

Despite the fact that she’s a good eater, fruits our daughter doesn’t really enjoy. Bananas, sure. But everything else has to be stewed or mixed with other things. In this case, oatmeal. Since she helps me mash the fruit with her little fork and toss the raisins and grapes,  she enjoys eating the oatmeal as well. Taste of Home has an easy recipe for fruity oatmeal that doesn’t need any cooking. However, if your toddler (like mine) wants everything mushy, zap it in the microwave for a few minutes.

 Plain and Stuffed Omelets

There’s something really fascinating about an egg for a toddler. She squeals with delight each time we crack an egg open and then whisk it about. She also enjoys sprinkling the salt and pepper and adding in chopped up veggies or grated cheese, if we’re making a stuffed omelet.  Please keep your little one away from the stovetop when actually cooking the omelet. Roni at Green Lite Bites has a fun post on how her toddler and she make their morning omelets.

While cooking with a toddler in the kitchen can be a lot of fun, you have to be very, very careful. NEVER leave your preschooler unattended in a kitchen where either the oven is on or there’s something on the stovetop. In fact, I’d say, never leave them unattended in the kitchen, period. Having said that, let cooking with your preschooler be fun – talk a lot, let them help and make a mess, if needed and chances are food and the kitchen will soon be a hot favorite.


Do you cook with your toddler? Have any tips? Ideas? Recipes? Do share!

Photo Credit: Abigail Batchelder


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  1. We love making blueberry and choc chip pancakes together. My little guy loves adding in the blueberries and choc chips and mixing it all together. When we plop them on the skillet my favorite part is the wowwwws he exclaims:)

    Ps- u said toddler years are ur favorite. How did u get thru and past the terrible twos?! Help.

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Ooh.. Candy, those sound lovely.. Do you have a recipe for them? Pls share.. Oh and the terrible twos.. luckily, they haven’t kicked in yet and am hoping they never do:-) But yes, she does throw an occasional tantrum. Here’s an early post I did on dealing with them –

  2. Yes, pancakes were the thing both kids helped with the most. I’d let them measure ingredients and add special ingredients as I decided to put them in.

    I also taught the kids how to make nachos quickly so they made sure that every chip had cheese on it.

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Val, thanks for sharing.. Nachos sound good.. Am going to definitely try those as well as the pancakes. Let me see if I can find a choc-chip pancake recipe:-)

  3. Just saw your comment on Social Moms and had to hop over hear and read your post! I have to run off right now…I do a SHOW ME HOW! Story-time Program in our local Pre-K and kindergartens…reading a picture book and doing a simple craft project…all based on my book which includes 100 story recommendations, 100 simple crafts and 100 child-friendly healthful cooking activities…so YES! I LOVE to cook with little ones. :) It’s one of the best ways to spend quality positive time with young children…builds self-esteem, develops pre-literacy skills and creates a life-long parent-child bond! All while both of you are having fun!

    I hope we can connect…I’ll be following your blog. Mine is
    if you have a minute to check it out.

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Vivian, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.. Your book sounds amazing as does your program. Let me know if you’d like me to review the book or if you’d like to guest post here:-) I agree, cooking is so much more than just making something to eat. Heading over to check out your space:-)

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