Cooking up Some Fun with Your Preschooler

I am happy to have a guest blogger for you today!  Meet Emily Patterson.  She has written a great piece for you on cooking with your preschooler.

Bubbling pots, sizzling skillets and delicious smells can make the kitchen a fascinating – yet dangerous – place for young children. However, the potential hazards don’t have to keep children out of the kitchen. Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Preschools, says kitchen time can be a great way for families to regain some lost, but valuable, family time.

With the kitchen being a popular place for families to gather, it can easily become a place that encourages learning and sharing as well.  You can also help to develop a sense of responsibility in the kitchen by letting them participate in daily tasks and at the same time freshen up their math skills and teach them the importance of making healthy choices in the kitchen.

Parents can keep the kitchen safe and fun for children by following this simple recipe:

1.       Engage your child meaningfully. Think about what tasks your child can do independently. Completing simple jobs like mixing batter, rolling dough and measuring water can boost a child’s sense of pride and accomplishment. Tearing lettuce, adding sprinkles to sweets and shaking parmesan onto pasta are other safe, satisfying tasks children can easily accomplish. Even very young children can get involved – give them some pots, pans and wooden spoons so they can pretend to cook with you or use them for music-making. Safe and easy independent tasks like this give them a way to feel like they’re helping too.

2.       Set some ground rules. Children need supervision when they’re in the kitchen, so establish a list of basic safety rules and make sure children are always within sight. Teach children to wash their hands before and after handling food to avoid spreading germs. Discuss on a regular basis what’s safe to touch and what’s not.  Make sure the handles of pots and pans are turned inward on the stovetop so you and older children don’t accidentally bump them and spill hot liquids or food.

3.       Build up skills step-by-step. Children can develop many essential skills in the kitchen, such as following recipes or counting slices of bread. For more advanced skills, start slowly and have your child master easy tasks before attempting harder ones. Teach older children to use a knife by starting them off with cutting soft items like cheese and cooked noodles with a dull spreader. As your child’s coordination develops, they can move on to slicing or sawing vegetables and fruit with a plastic knife.

4.       Keep it fun. Cooking can be messy even without children, so don’t stress over the “oops” moments. If the cookie batter ends up on the floor instead of the baking sheet, offer some guidance and let your child try again. You can make cleaning it up fun too!

When your meal is complete, be sure to compliment your sous chef on a job well done. Offer them the first taste of whatever you cooked together and ask them what you should make next time. Bon appétit!

Submitted by Emily Patterson on behalf of Primrose Schools. For over 25 years, they have helped individuals achieve higher levels of success by providing them with an AdvancED® accredited, early preschool services and education.  Through an accelerated Balanced Learning® curriculum, Primrose Schools students are exposed to a widely diverse range of subject matter giving them a much greater opportunity to develop mentally, physically and socially. Emily has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering.


We have a winner of Gooseberry Patch’s Big Book of Home Cooking!

RanchWife! You won!  Congratulations.  I sent you and email and as soon as I hear from you and have your address, this HUGE, BEAUTIFUL book will be headed your way!



Gooseberry Patch Recipe of the Day: Crustless Coconut Pie

This is TOO easy and so delicious. I made neither of them gluten free but I took a little taste and YUM!!! Give this a try this weekend.  Quick easy and for some reason just suited this beautiful fall-ish weather we are having.


Yep, it makes TWO pies!

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup self rising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut, divided

Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until frothy.  Add sugar and next 4 ingredients, beat well.  Place 1/2 coconut in each of two shallow, lightly greased pie plates.  Pour half of filling mixture into each pie plate, stirring gently to distribute coconut.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until golden.  Makes 2 pies that each serve six.

All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of each post pertaining to this giveaway and Early Bird Review and consider yourself entered.  I will be posting at least  4 amazing recipes from this book over the next couple weeks and then on Monday September 12,  I will draw a name from the trusty mason jar and announce the winner.  So counting the earlier post which was really an introduction, you have at least 5 chances to get your name in the drawing!  Who knows, this book is so big (hence the name!) how many recipes I might get posted.  And of course it would be nice of you to tell your friends if you have facebook or a blog of your  own.

NOTE: This HUGE WONDERFUL book will be published September 20th…so if you don’t win, you better get yourself a copy!

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Thanks for stopping by!