Hi! I’m Jess from This Twin Life. I’m a stay-at-home mom to twins who turn 2 today! In my pre-kid life, I was an elementary school library teacher so I bring a lot of my teacher tricks, a love of children’s books, and plenty of school crafts to my mom life. I blog about life with my twins, toddler activities, and I also like to share some of our favorite family meals.
There are a lot of foodies in our family. My mom loves to cook and try new recipes, my mother-in-law is a wonderful baker, my brother is a chef, and I have two brother-in-laws who are amazing cooks. While I don’t cook with the same level enthusiasm as our family chefs, I do enjoy a good meal, sitting down as a family to eat, and exposing my kids to different foods. I like to try and get the kids involved in the kitchen so they can feel like they have some ownership over our meals and the cooking process. At 2 years old, we are deep in the “I do it” stage and the kitchen can be a great place for kids to help out! Today I’m sharing a few of the ways I include my kids in our kitchen.
Meal Planning and Groceries – I often make my grocery list with the kids. It usually goes like this:
Me: So, what do I need to get at the grocery store this week?
Baby B: Pancakes
Baby A: Hmmm. Blueberries?
And that’s usually as far as we get with their contributions because they would happily live on blueberries and pancakes or blueberry pancakes. After we add their requests, I talk about each meal and what ingredients we need to buy to make it. Sometimes the kids “write” their own lists on a sticky note while I make my list. When we shop for food, they help hold things at the store and we talk about the different foods we are buying. The kids are very into colors, counting, and pointing out the handful of letters they recognize and the grocery store is a great place to spot colors, count fruits and veggies, and see big signs with different letters.
Cooking Meals – I try to include the kids when I’m cooking meals. With two two year olds, this can be hard (too many cooks in the kitchen, you might say). Breakfast is usually the easiest meal for them to help with. They pour and stir when we make pancakes, beat eggs and add seasonings to scrambled eggs, put bread in the toaster, and they just started working on spreading their own nut butter or avocado on toast or bagels. Cutting soft foods like tofu is also a new skill they have been working on (a pro tip I learned from another mama: use a lettuce knife!) Make your own English muffin pizzas is a favorite dinner meal they can make entirely on their own. I think the more they are involved in creating a meal, the more excited they are about eating it.
Cooking for Play – We love sensory play in our house and I always involve the kids when we are making food-based sensory materials. Some of our favorite things to make in the kitchen are playdough, rainbow rice, and oobleck. We also play with fun shaped pasta, oatmeal, different grains, beans, and kitchen tools.
I’m hoping my kids will continue to be enthusiastic about helping in the kitchen as they get older!
Thank you to Signe for inviting me to join her for Take a Taste Tuesday!
Each Tuesday for the next several weeks a fellow mom/friend/community member will be sharing a fun recipe, tips to include kids in the cooking process, or a great family restaurant for “Take a Taste Tuesday.” If you are interested in sharing your eating and/or cooking fun be sure to connect with me via email!