How to get your toddler cooking and loving food!

If you are struggling to get your toddler to be enthusiastic about food, encouraging your child to help you cook may just be the answer to ignite an interest in meal times.

Not only may cooking help your child become involved in food, but it is a great way to keep little ones busy. Here’s how to get your toddler cooking.

1. It is important to discuss food with children. Talk about what kinds of foods are healthy, what ingredients are in certain dishes and where some food, such as milk, comes from. This will help generate an initial interest in what they are eating.

2. Buying a children’s cook book is a great way to initiate an interest in cooking and food. Pick out one recipe you are going to begin with.

3. Take your child to the supermarket with you and let them help you put all the shopping in the trolley, reiterating what the various ingredients are for and what you are going to make. Remember to include the ingredients from their own cook book in the shopping trolley.

4. Children love being given responsibility. Give your child their own personal role in the kitchen, such as mixing the flour with the water.

5. Buying your child his own ‘chef’s’ uniform is another good way to spark interest. Wearing an apron and hat like Mummy’s or Daddy’s will augment enthusiasm tremendously.

6. Cook sweet things as well as savoury. Generally children love to make biscuits and cakes. Always involve a variety of ingredients and different types of dishes when cooking with children.

7. Always eat what they have cooked. Although it may not look like the most appetising plate of food, ensure to make an effort to eat it, or at least some of it. Children will be immensely disappointed if their food is not eaten.

8. Make a big deal about what they have cooked. If your toddler has made some biscuits take them to the neighbours or the grandparents. Your child will be extremely proud of his creation and eager to bake again.