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My Kitchen is Directed by My Toddler #TastyTuesday

Have you ever planned and prepared a meal for your family only to realize half way 
through that the “peaceful family time meal” you aimed for is somehow missing? I 
often find that mealtime becomes my daily challenge to keep my daughter occupied, 
engaged, or happy long enough to make a decent meal. And what are mother’s best 
at? Blaming ourselves! I would like to say that I have the cure-all answer to this, but 
in reality motherhood and meal planning for us is handled day-by-day.

To be completely honest, I don’t have a high level of confidence when it comes to 
cooking. What I do have, however, is knowledge that toddlers are interested in 
everything we do as parents and the more I allow “E” to feel like she is a part of our 
team in the kitchen, the less she will feel the need to get my attention in frustrated 
ways. Once I realized this as a new mom, I asked myself what I could do in our 
kitchen to make “E” feel independent and capable.

Before we moved to North Carolina this passed January our kitchen resembled 
something close to a cardboard box full of random Tupperware…and then attacked 
by a tornado. Now “E” has two simple but life-changing things: 1). Three reachable 
drawers including her plates, cups, and silverware; 2). A kid table that only she is 
allowed to clean. When it is time to get ready for a meal “E” is invited to get her table 
ready. She gets to choose what plate to use, which cup, and which spoon. She also 
has her own paper towel roll, a small spray bottle with ½ vinegar and ½ water, a 
toddler size broom and dustpan. 

These few things have given her independence and allowed us to breathe a little 
more in the kitchen. It’s incredible how much me letting go of control of the kitchen 
has brought peace and quiet and how this has taught “E” things I didn’t think she 
was ready for.

Another constant in our kitchen when preparing meals or cleaning is kid friendly 
music that allows us to get randomly silly…a daily must for us. 

When you are stressing about some challenging behavior in your home what is one 
way you may be able to rearrange and put the directing wand in your child’s hands?

Have a terrific Tuesday!


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