I am not a food blogger. I may know a lot about early education, but when it comes to cooking I am mediocre at best. One thing I adore is to cook with my three-year old and the feeling is mutual. Mardi Gras is coming up and even though we don’t celebrate it extensively we always eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday also known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Instead of plain old pancakes I decided this year we were going to make sprinkle ones. Everything is better with sprinkles! The recipe is straight from Joy Of Cooking and the only additions were lots and lots of purple, green , and gold sprinkles.
When you are cooking with young kids there are a few things you can do to minimize stress and maximize fun. My favorite trick is to play some Simon Says while you cook. Instead of saying no over and over you can use the game and keep everyone spirits up. I will say ” Simon says touch your belly! ” when I want her to have hands off, “Simon says hold the spoon still.” When I want her to stop stirring and so on and so forth.
If measuring the ingredients is s source of stress for you get them ready before hand. You can even have them help you prep them before it’s time to mix them together. When I am cooking alone I will do each step in a recipe as I read it. When I am cooking with my three-year old reading it ahead of time and a little prep goes a long way. This way she can dump it all together without stress.
Be brave and have faith in their abilities. Let them do things like crack eggs. This is better than ice cream for my daughter. She loves cracking eggs and even though we usually have to fish out some shell to tell you the truth I often have to when I crack them myself. Kids have a way of living up to our trust so let them pour the heavy measuring cup full of wet ingredients. If it’s too heavy they will ask for help. As long as they are safe don’t help unless they ask for it.
You will notice that there are no pictures of my daughter actually helping flipping the pancakes. My griddle is old and gets crazy hot. It’s not safe for her to help with those steps. So I had her shake the sprinkles into the batter and I added more while they were cooking. There were none left over and the sprinkles added extra sweetness that made them extra irresistible. Perfect for Fat Tuesday!
Allison McDonald is founder and editor of No Time For Flash Cards. She has been teaching children in various capacities since 1993, so she has done her share of crafts, songs and circle times! Her son’s birth brought her home, and her love of teaching and helping other parents sparked the idea for No Time for Flash Cards. Early childhood education is her passion . . . her heart belongs to the little guys! Get to know Allie and see her creative kids’ crafts and educational activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest