Before the pandemic hit us and brought the world down to its knees, most of them have secretly wished they could have a productive work from home day. However, with the new normal of working from home for the rest of the year, it’s impossible to get anything done at home with a toddler around. Every child easily has more than enough toys to play with. Yet, they want to play with the kitchen utensils and cutlery. The pan is hot and ready for dosa batter, but can’t find the ladle. Guess where it must be?? Along with a drum roll, or soft toys or even fighter jets. Ugh!! Here are a few things you can do to engage your little chefs and complete cooking on time – it’s a WIN-WIN. We all know how that feels. Phew!!
Ways to Engage Toddlers
Start off with introducing them to a few cookery shows or cooking videos, which will open up a whole new world to them. Pick up few recipes that they can do on their own with your supervision. Eg: mug cake with healthier choice of ingredients such as whole wheat flour instead of plain flour/maida. This way the child also has a sense of accomplishment in completing a cooking project. Let breakfast be their domain few days in a week. The perfect thing to start with and not messy ( most important factor. Lol!) Get your toddler to pour the Timios Crunchies out of the cereal box into the bowl of milk. Keep few things handy for your kids to sprinkle in their cereal – such as fresh cut up fruits, nuts and honey.
Milkshakes – an easy snack
Every day is the best time for milkshakes. Pick up a fruit or two of their choice for a quick milkshake. Some days it can be a single fruit milkshake like mango and on a couple days it can be a combination of fruits such as banana and berries. Another yummy, yet healthy milkshake with Timios Belligo pieces into the milkshake to kick up the probiotic content- thus helping in immunity. The most enjoyable act during cooking is to chop/grate chocolate and mash cookies in a zip-lock pouch while they also munch it (its bound to happen :P) and turn the milkshake activity into a much fancier task by adding some toppings of grated chocolate. Another interesting smoothie recipe would be to blend milk, honey, banana and Timios Energy Bar. Whip them up together and a mid-morning snack or an evening snack is taken care of.
This lock-down has led parents venture into baking cakes. Best time to work with your child to measure all the ingredients. Initially it can get messy- but that’s the part of having fun, right? Teach them both methods of measuring – digital scale as well as the good old measuring cups. Kids are quick learners and eventually once they know to measure, it will definitely reduce your workload. Churn up a DIY evening snack for them. Try a twist of bhelpuri using Timios Munchies instead of puffed rice. Chop up tomatoes, onions and coriander leaves. Keep chat masala and sev ready. Your little ones can toss it all up together and have an interesting snack.
Get your fancy containers and utensils out from storage during lock-down. Cook something exciting and the look forward to mealtimes and who knows that might give them a restaurant feel too! Little older kids can handle your expensive cookware and serve-ware – take their help to lay the table and clear the table too.
When you cannot take your kid out to play areas or to malls or shopping, at least give them the pleasure of choosing something that they are excited to eat. Also, once a fortnight organize a full course meal starting from soup to main course and to a dessert. Let the soup be from a vegetable of your kid’s choice. As an icing on the cake, if feasible, stitch or order some cute aprons and chef caps for the little ones. This will set the decor and ambiance for the little chefs to get involved in kitchen. Parents need to introduce some routine during this lock-down time for the kids to feel secure and grounded. Involving them in kitchen is one of the ways that will keep the toddlers occupied and happy.