The kitchen is often the focal point of family activities. Even the youngest member of the family wants to join in on the fun. Working in the kitchen provides endless opportunities to enrich your child’s vocabulary, senses, and eating habits.
Infants and toddlers especially want, and need, to be near their parents. They enjoy the action, the noise, and the smells of the kitchen as they feel included in the family’s daily life. Not only can a parent better keep a close eye on the child as they work, but also, they can provide a rich stimulating environment for the child, and to the developing relationship with one another.
“The child can only develop by means of experience in his environment. We call such experience work” ~Maria Montessori
Toddlers are fascinated with opening and closing doors. Around six months of age, children can have their own cabinet or drawer within easy reach, filled with safe kitchen toys, such as plastic stacking bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and wooden spoons, etc. As they explore and experiment with kitchen work, they are learning about the physical world in which they live, and developing spatial relationships which will lay the foundation for understanding mathematical concepts. So Let’s get cooking!
Raisin Honey Bran Muffins
3 cups bran cereal (such as All Bran Original), divided
1 cup of boiling water
1 ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 ½ cups whole wheat flower
3tsp baking soda
2tbsp vital wheat gluten
¾ cup honey
2 cups buttermilk (or 2tbsp vinegar or lemon juice mixed with milk to equal 2 cups –I use 2%)
1 cup seedless raisins
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine 1 cup of the cereal with boiling water and applesauce. Mix well and set aside.
Combine flour, salt, baking soda and remaining 2 cups of cereal. Add honey, milk, and eggs. Mix well.
Stir in cereal/water/applesauce mixture and raisins.
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins, filling each cup 2/3 full.
Bake for 15 minutes, one pan at a time. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before placing muffins on cooling racks.
Remember when demonstrating with toddlers, slow down your movements about half the speed your child would need to do it. This encourages your child to do all things slowly and carefully. Have fun!