When I began thinking about cooking meals for my family I knew I wanted to be able to cook one meal and not multiples meals, one for us and one for Brooks. I started doing some research and quickly found that there are so many resources for family meal ideas including little ones.
I love finding and trying new cookbooks and recipes! Some of my favorite resources have been: The Big Book of Organic Baby Food, Super Easy Baby Food Cookbook, Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby & Toddler, and Pinterest. Some favorites recipes I have tried from Pinterest: Potato and Chicken Soup & Minestrone Soup, as you may notice both of these are crock pot recipes. I really love when I can use my InstaPot/Crock Pot to cook! It makes meal time so much easier as I am able to throw it in while Brooks is napping and at dinnertime we are ready to eat without much more work! Both of these were delicious and a big hit with BJ and Brooks!
I know sometimes we need even more convenience or quicker options than CrockPot or InstaPot options and in those times we have really enjoyed the snack and meal options from Happy Family Organics, we love that they have organic options and their ingredients lists are short! Some of our favorites are their teething crackers, cookies, pouches, and bowls.
Tips for Cooking with Little Ones:
- LET THEM HELP: We love our learning tower. Lucian is able to help stir, place things in bowls, scoop ingredients, and he even helps with the dishes. The learning tower is much easier than holding him while we cook. The learning tower is on our short list of items to get made for Brooks! For now I wear him or hold him to let him help me and definitely see where Chloe says the tower makes it much easier!
- LET THEM PRETEND TO HELP: When I was in college, I babysat for a family that had a play kitchen in their kitchen so that the little girl could “cook” while mom did. This is definitely coming soon in our house! For now, we often give Lu a couple of bowls and spoons so he can pretend and he loves it. Brooks also LOVES to “help” with a bowl and spoon, stirring is his favorite right along with banging and clanging the pots and pans!
- BLAST CHILLER: We don’t actually have a blast chiller of course. But that is what we call our freezer when we use it to cool Lucian’s food. We grab his portion out as soon as possible and get it in the freezer so it will be cool by the time our plates are made and we are ready to eat. We also add an ice cube or a little cold water to Brooks to help things like soups cool off quickly.
And sometimes helping is a much bigger mess!! But try to laugh about it and remember memories are being made.