As cooking engages all of the senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and (most fabulously) tasting – cooking with toddlers provides them with fabulous sensory input that is really important for brain development. As a teacher and a mum I have cooked with toddlers many, many times and I find that cooking with toddlers can be lots of fun and relatively stress free with a little preparation. Here are my tips…

  • hoose a time when your toddler is not overly tired – first thing in the morning or after naptime work well.
  • To keep the cooking experience short to suit a short toddler attention span, pre-measure the ingredients before you begin and have them individually separated ready for your toddler to add to the mixing bowl or pot.
  • Toddlers love to mix and stir so be sure to include mixing and stirring in the cooking experience!
  • There will invariably be mess but that is part of the process too. Fortunately toddlers also love helping to clean up!

I asked some of my favourite Australian play bloggers to share their go-to cooking with toddler recipes. Click on the name of each recipe to be taken to the instructions.

1. Cheese Puffs
Super simple to make, these Cheese Puffs are super yummy too!

2. Ham, Cheese & Spinach Muffins
Debs of Learn with Play at Home says, “This savoury muffin recipe has been simplified with basic measurements and only a couple of easy steps to make it a great one for toddlers to make and eat.”

3. Snail Scrolls
Penny of Mother Natured, “We love this snail scroll recipe. Just lay out the puff pastry and let your toddlers sprinkle the ingredients all over it. My little ones love them!”

4. Making Pizza
Amber of Happy Crafty Family shares, “This pizza how-to is a great way to engage children in their first cooking experience. Super interactive too.”

5. Chocolate Cake
Sara of Happiness is Here shares, “My kids love this recipe because my 5 year old is able to read the directions while my 3 year old can follow along with the pictures.”

6. Two Ingredient Scones
“With only 2 ingredients, these scones are a simple recipe to whip up with little ones.” Yum! Thanks, Kelly of Be a Fun Mum

7. Anzac Biscuits
Jackie of My Little Bookcase shares, “Kids need a little help from parents for this recipe, but it’s a lovely way to understand that recipes have a history.”

8. Two Ingredient Bread Dough
“Here’s a sensory experience that doubles as afternoon tea!” Thanks for sharing, Danya Banya.

9. Weet-Bix Slice
Kate of Laughing Kids Learn says, “Using simple ingredients found in the kitchen cupboard, these Weet-Bix slices are delicious and high in fibre.”

10. Chocolate Truffles
For kids who don’t mind getting their hands messy, this recipe for Chocolate Truffles is a winner. Via Picklebums for Childhood 101.


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