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Dinner time can be stressful, and the thought of including your preschooler in preparing food may seem daunting. Common concerns are kitchen safety, creating a mess, and the stress of cooking while teaching and entertaining your preschooler.
But what if there was a way to safely, easily, and quickly make a yummy dinner with your little one? Below are some ideas to help you and your preschooler have fun in the kitchen—stress free!
Start with a “tour” of the kitchen.
You can even pretend you’re in a restaurant! Reinforce the names of appliances, establish rules, and point out danger areas. You can show them a fun video about kitchen safety as well! This is a great first step in reducing your own anxiety about having your preschooler in the kitchen while cooking.
Curate a simple “menu” that uses a few appliances you know your preschooler will enjoy.
It’s ok to utilize a microwave! Consider modifying an old favorite recipe. Some simple ideas are breakfast for dinner and homemade pizza! Simplify your meal with no-cook sauces, salads, and sandwiches.
Expect a mess.
Measuring cups will be overfilled and eggs will be dropped. That’s ok! Cover areas you plan to use with any sort of disposable or washable surface. Whip out all your cutting boards, baking sheets, etc. as a buffer between your sous chef and your counter.
Give your preschooler a sense of ownership by letting them pick out their own cooking utensils. Let them pick out a “special” spoon or whisk, or apron. This will make them feel like a real chef! Also include your preschooler in cleaning up! After enjoying your meal, head back in the kitchen for unexpected fun! You can wash your dishes with more bubbles than usual, play fun music in the background, or make a fun video while cleaning!
It may be more dinner preparation than you are used to, but with a little planning and creativity, you and your preschooler will have a special time together during your own daily routine.
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Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Bella Terra located in Richmond, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.