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Recently I’ve been realizing that Caleb is a kid. I know that most of you are thinking “Duh, Susannah. Of course your child is a kid” but I’ve simply been viewing him as a toddler and, all of a sudden, realize that he is way outside toddler age now. This kid is asking deep questions, caring about other people’s emotions, and wants to be super helpful. He’s growing and maturing and, as crazy as it sounds, is getting more fun than he’s ever been!
Caleb has always been pretty quick-witted and it’s precious to see it come out more and more. The other day we were leaving our house and Caleb asked me where our neighbor was going. I had no idea so I told him, “I don’t know, buddy.” Caleb got a mischievous grin on his face and slyly asked me “What’s he gonna do at I Don’t Know, Mama?” This is my life.
Lately Caleb’s been totally into helping out in the kitchen. He loves measuring and pouring and stirring. Unfortunately, there have been a few too many times when I walk into the pantry and he’s elbow deep in the flour bin, telling me that he’s going to bake something. I’m all about encouraging Caleb to learn so I am all about him helping me out in the kitchen. As a preschooler, though, often helping out causes more harm than good. Luckily, I’ve learned a few tips for cooking with preschoolers.
Tips for Cooking with Preschoolers
Make Sure You Have All the Ingredients Ahead of Time
There’s nothing worse than telling your preschooler you’re going to make something and then, halfway through, realizing you don’t have all the ingredients! That’s happened here and typically ends in a preschooler meltdown since I’m not following through with what I told him. No good at all. While I do try to make sure we have ingredients needed, I also have a handy ingredient substitutions list hanging in my cabinet for times where I’m totally in need. (Or, let’s be real, just times I really don’t want to go to the store. #momlife)
Keep the Recipes Simple
Preschoolers have short attention spans so they really don’t want to help you out on big, time intensive cooking extravaganzas. When your preschooler is involved, keep the recipe short and simple – something that can be thrown together quickly and doesn’t require a lot of cooking time.
Use Ingredients Your Child Can Maneuver
While purchasing ingredients for cooking with your preschooler, get products that your kiddo can do on his or her own. Choose products with simple packaging and no kid safety locks. Those are great for keeping kids out but are pointless if your goal is to let your kiddo help out.
Teach While You Cook
Cooking is a perfect opportunity for teaching. Cooking allows you to count with your kid, teach simple addition concepts, explain simple chemistry, and so much more! Use your cooking time wisely and your preschooler won’t even know that learning is happening!
Don’t Expect Perfection
It’s silly to think that cooking with your preschooler with be a calm, clean, perfect time. Preschoolers are messy. Preschoolers don’t listen. Preschoolers throw tantrums. This doesn’t have to make your time any less precious. Understand who your preschooler is and what he or she is capable of and keep your focus on that. Maybe your cookies will look like dirt or the pie will have a hand print in it but, if your kiddo had fun, it’s a win!
One of the recipes Caleb and I have been enjoying recently has been no-bake cookies. It’s so fun to whip up a quick batch using only six ingredients and have a sweet treat to enjoy in no time! Since we love making simple treats, we also love using simple products. We love using the brand new Land O Lakes® Soft Squeeze™ Spread in our cookies since it’s in a convenient, easy to squeeze bottle that creates WAY less mess! This new product is the thing I didn’t know I needed, but now can’t live without! I love that Land O Lakes® Soft Squeeze™ Spread is made with real butter, stays clean and crumb-free, and is squeezable convenience, right out of my fridge! In fact, it’s as Squeezy as 123! 😉
No-Bake and No-Heat Cookies
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 TBSP Land O Lakes® Soft Squeeze™ Spread
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Honey
3 Cups Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup Cocoa
1. Mix all the ingredients together. Yep, that’s it!
2. In order to keep them ready to eat, stick spoonfuls of the yummy goodness on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer for about twenty minutes. After that, store them in the fridge.
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What will you make with Land O Lakes® Soft Squeeze™ Spread
How do you get your preschooler involved in the kitchen?
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