The Tiny Chef in this video is 4-years-old and has been preparing food since he was 18 months old. He loves to eat the food he makes! For more ideas and recipes preschoolers love, check out the Tiny Chef recipe book.
These pancakes are refined sugar-free and gluten-free. You can make them with just 2 ingredients (eggs & bananas) or add a few extras (oats for texture & cinnamon for flavor). Sprinkling blueberries or chocolate chips on top is extra fun for the kiddos! Using coconut oil on the pan and covering them on the first side makes the pancakes easy to flip.
After a few days of hot weather, today's cool rainy weather inspired me to roast veggies. Our Tiny Chef loves roasted cauliflower, but it has to be nicely caramelized and soft.
Here's what we did:
1. preheat oven to 400f
2. wash & core 2 small heads of cauliflower.
3. set a sheet tray out and ask your child to break the cauliflower into pieces
4. while they are breaking, pick out the big pieces and cut them down (aiming for florets all the same size)
5. drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over the cauliflower (I held my 3-year-old's hand on the bottle and we did this together)
6. sprinkle seasonings (give your young kids just the right amount of seasonings - they tend to want to put them ALL on the food) - we used salt, pepper, garlic powder, & smoked paprika
7. with clean hands, mix the cauliflower, oil and seasonings on the pan and then make sure they're covering the bottom of the pan in a single layer
8. when the oven is preheated, put the cauliflower pan on a middle rack and set a timer for 20 minutes
9. after 20 minutes, use a spatula to flip the cauliflower over & set the timer for another 20 minutes
10. when the timer goes off, flip the cauliflower over one more time (it should be browning now)
11. after a final 10 minutes, take the cauliflower out to cool down (it would be a good idea to test it with a fork to see if it needs to be in any longer to get soft)
12. adjust the seasonings as needed and serve warm (we added a bit more salt to ours)
Quick Tip: Check your child's hands for cuts & scrapes before you hand them a citrus half (I'm sure you've experienced that open cut burn!). They may want to avoid one hand or just watch you squeeze the first time, until their cut heals. Use the damp towel to quickly wipe your child's hands if they start to hurt or if they just don't like how sticky they feel.
We made some quick and easy oatmeal in our Instant Pot pressure cooker (affiliate link) and my 3-year-old LOVES IT! It stores well in the fridge and is hearty enough to keep you full for a few hours.
1 cup of steel-cut oats
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk (any variety of milk will work)
pinch of salt
handful (1/4 cup) of golden raisins
maple syrup & other toppings to taste
Mix all of the ingredients (except the toppings) together in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and cook on Manual for 4 minutes (10 minutes natural pressure release). Add toppings and enjoy!
In case you haven't heard, many chefs recommend cracking eggs on a FLAT surface. When you hit a raw egg on a sharper edge, you're more likely to get a small piece of shell in the egg (because the sharp edge pushes small shell pieces inside). Many people like how an edge helps to break eggs cleanly into two large sections, but that's a trade-off for producing more small fragments.
Something we've discovered is that a flat surface also works better for small, less-coordinated hands! Not only does the raw egg come out more slowly, but (most importantly) the egg is already OVER the surface where you want it to fall. Young kids have a hard time coordinating multiple connected movements (they often need to practice one at a time), so cracking an egg on an edge and then swiftly moving it to the interior of a bowl can be very challenging (and frustrating). Instead, we use a large plate so we can use the wide surface to both crack the egg and open it.
Steps for Cracking a Raw Egg
I usually dump each egg into a bowl (or plastic bag) after our Tiny Chef cracks them so he doesn't end up trying to crack a new egg on top of the old one (and so it's less likely new fragments will get into the already clean egg).
We experimented with cantaloupe this morning, but I think our strategy would've worked much better with a (squishier) watermelon.
Mr. Tiny Chef really struggled to get his butter knife through that big cantaloupe and he wasn't in the mood to scoop out all of those seeds (both of these challenges would disappear if we used a watermelon instead).
However, I'm really proud of him for persevering in cutting and pulling the cantaloupe in half all by himself - he tried many different strategies to get it done!
In the end, I scooped most of the seeds and cut the halves into segments (after letting him try first), and he was much happier slicing the segments into bite-sized pieces.