5 fun food activities for toddlers

Fancy raising the next Jamie Oliver? Or maybe you’re priming them for the next Bake Off series… It all starts here. Your kid is going to get interested in food once you start getting them involved. While they’ll hardly be preparing duck a l’orange or layering up a tiramisu, your little sous chef can get involved in parts of the process. If they’re picky about vegetables, having them wash or mash them could be just the ticket to having them try them. Now let’s get them in on the cooking action.

Get their input

There are few things in this world worse than a dinner table melt down… Especially in these unprecedented times, we want things to go smoothly wherever possible. Ask what they’d like for dinner or let them choose between this or that – knowing they’ve picked it means they’re more likely to eat it.

Selecting the ingredients

Go buffet-style and give your kid options what goes on their plate or in their dish. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Start with a bowl of granola then let them choose whether to top it up with raisins, dried cranberries and a spoon of natural yoghurt.

Stirring it up

Hand your little one the whisk and let them in on the food prep. Whether it’s a cake mix or simple scrambled eggs, mixing is always a fun part of the cooking process. Get a small stool so they can reach up to the counter and always stand with them while they’re mixing. Lay down the rules that it’s not okay to taste, especially if it’s raw egg. Mastered mixing? Move onto mashing.

Kneading and squashing

Get bread making! From mixing the ingredients to pressing the knuckles into the dough and rolling it out flat, you’ll make a little baker out of them yet. Of course, flour will go everywhere in the process but that’s part of the fun, right? Flapjack and energy balls are other good recipes for squashing the ingredients together.

Painting and decorating

They’re a dab hand with paints and brushes, so bring those skills into the kitchen. Let your mini master chef brush egg white over your pie crust or homemade sausage rolls. Decorating knows no bounds; it can be sprinkling cheese on your pasta bake to giving your hedgehog rolls little raisins for eyes.