“Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”
“Not, by the hair of my chiny, chin, chin!”
Is this how the kitchen banter goes between you and your children? Oh, trust me, I get it! My kitchen is tiny. I don’t mean that it is actually big but I wish it were bigger so I think it is tiny. It really is very small. Add in 4 kids, a husband and a dog… the galley style pass through with no counter space gets down-right claustrophobic.
Let them in. I repeat, LET THEM IN!
You’ve heard it. You’ve scoffed at it. You’ve even tried it. Remember the Christmas cookie flour disaster of 2012? Trust me though. If I can do it with my little ones then you can do it to. Just think outside the box, or the kitchen if you will. I have expanded to the kitchen table. When we are making something like cookies or muffins I simply move the mixer to the kitchen table. It is no more clean-up than using the kitchen, it is simply in a different space. When we are making our traditional Saturday morning pancakes (paleo of course), each child takes a turn on the stool. The first measures the almond flour. The second puts in the baking powder and salt. The third stirs. Next, one cracks eggs…you get the idea. (helpful hint: have children crack eggs one at a bowl separate from mixture so that you can remove any shell) If you are in a hurry supper might not be the best time to put them to work. Think breakfast on a none-school morning, lunch, snack or supper on weekends when time isn’t as much of an issue. If you are stressed, this little experiment will go down in bright orange flames never to be repeated. Basically, DON’T SET YOURSELF UP FOR DISASTER!
This not the magic bullet people claim. I have to honestly say that helping make dinner has never caused any of my children to suddenly eat a dinner they wouldn’t otherwise eat without complaint. Anyone telling you otherwise lives in a dream world.HOWEVER, you WILL be able to relish in the fact that you multitasked successfully.Oh yes, you did! You simultaneously bonded with and taught your children a life skill. Several life skills, actually. Allowing them to help teaches cooperation, math skills (measuring), critical thinking (if I put seasoning a into mixture b what will happen) AND how to feed themselves. Plus, allowing your children to help empowers them, giving them the ability to make wise food choices. I know right! You did all that just by letting them in!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!