Monday, October 6, 2008

My Kitchen Helper

I've been reading in various toddler books about letting my baby help me cook. I felt guilty at first because not only do I not do most of the cooking at my house (I have a wonderful husband who is a great cook), but our kitchen is small, and Abigail is pretty busy. I have visions of vegetables and water all over my floor (one suggestion is to let the baby wash vegetables at a toddler table). One evening a couple of weeks ago, she was running around under my feet while I was trying to cook dinner, and the answer came to me. I realized all our canned green beans were in the basement, and asked Abigail to help me get them. She even got to carry one can up the stairs by herself. Once I'd opened the cans, I picked her up, and asked her if she wanted to help Mommy cook. So I let her hold the can (I held the can too as a backup) and we emptied both cans into the pot. Then I got out the seasoning (we use a roasted garlic seasoning from Tone's) and I let her help me shake that into the pot too. She was so proud of herself that she calmed down while I finished cooking everything else, and told her Daddy about her adventure when he came in. She's just getting to the stage where she tells "stories" soon after they happen (if prompted), so the whole experience was exciting for all involved.

Abigail is 20 months now, and I'm still searching for fun things to do with her that won't leave us both feeling like we weren't ready for the experience yet. Cooking with Mommy was a hit though, and Abigail just got to make her second batch of garlic green beans.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

You know I hardly ever cook, but Josh lets Seth pour anything that needs to be poured. Sometimes, when he's just bored while waiting to pour something, Josh will ask him to shake the spices. So we hand him a plastic bottle or some spice and ask him to shake it. It has to be something he can't open, and if it makes a shaky sound, it's a plus. Josh has also started letting Seth mix things up. You have to go back and mix it again. Or mix it first and let them finish. Anyway, Seth loves to help Daddy cook, and will sometimes consent to helping Mommy if I'm making something particularly yummy or fun.