Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baking & letting go

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen 
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I'm not the best baker around. In fact, the activity is rather new to me [in the grand scheme of things] but, I can make a mean muffin without even batting an eye [and by mean, I mean fierce]. I learned by researching recipes online and then experimenting with variations of my own. Of course, it's a rare day that the boys are not included in my cooking adventures. It comes with the territory of being a parent.

The hard part for me while cooking with the boys is letting go. See, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist... and a control freak [sigh, it's true]. So, I need to make sure I have everything done right and I hate a mess. But, when you include kids in the cooking process this is what you get...


So, it's been a huge learning process for me. And I don't mean the cooking part. Each time I have to remind myself that it's ok if they stir the flour right out of the bowl. It's ok that they pour liquid from such a height that it sprays onto the floor. It's ok if the muffins don't come out quite right because we haven't made enough batter [or lost so much in the process].

It's inevitable. Kids will open every bottle, rummage through every package, grab loads of sugar or chocolate chips, spray salt everywhere, spill milk or applesauce, lick spoons and play drums with the bowls. And that's all before you even start measuring the first cup of flour.

This can drive you wild. Or you can take a step back and learn from them. Learn to explore with abandon. Learn to have fun with the process. Learn to be patient and Just-Let-Go.

I'm still learning, but they are darn good teachers so I'm positive I'll get it in the end ;)

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Baking & letting go — Cooking with kids can be a mess. Nadia at Red White & GREEN Mom is learning to relax, be patient, and have fun with the process.
  • Family feeding in Child of Mine — Lauren at Hobo Mama reviews Ellyn Satter's suggestions for appropriate feeding and points out where her family has problems following through.
  • Children with Knives! (And other Kitchen Tools) — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy teaches her children how to safely use knives.
  • "Mommy, Can I Help?" — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes about how she lets her kiddos help out with cooking, despite her {sometimes} lack of patience!
  • Solids the Second Time Around — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts her experiences introducing solids to her second child.
  • The Adventure of Toddler TastebudsThe Accidental Natural Mama shares a few things that helped her daughter develop an adventurous palate.
  • A Tradition of Love — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy looks forward to sharing the kitchen traditions passed on from her mom and has already found several ways to involve baby in the kitchen.
  • The Very Best Classroom — Alicia C. at McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts reveals how her kitchen is more than a place to make food - it's a classroom!
  • Raising Little Chefs — Chef Mike guest posts on Natural Parents Network about how he went from a guy who couldn't cook to a chef who wanted to teach his boys to know how the food we love is made.
  • In the Kitchen with my kids — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares a delicious soup recipe that her kids love.
  • Papa, the Pancake Artist — Papa's making an incredible breakfast over at Our Mindful Life.
  • Kids won't eat salad? Try this one! — Tat at Mum in Search is sharing her children's favourite salad recipe.
  • Recipe For a Great Relationship — Cooking with kids is about feeding hearts as well as bellies, writes Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • The Ritual of Mealtimes — Syenna at Gently Parenting Twins writes about the significance of mealtimes in her family’s daily rhythm.
  • Kid, Meet Food. Food, Kid. — Alburnet at What's Next? panicks about passing on her food "issues" to her offspring.
  • Growing Up in the Kitchen — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life shares how her son is growing up in the kitchen.
  • Harvesting Corn and History — From Kenna at School Garden Year: The kids in the school garden harvest their corn and learn how much history grows in their food.
  • My Guiding Principles for Teaching my Child about Food — Tree at Mom Grooves uses these guiding principles to give her daughter a love of good food and an understanding of nutrition as well as to empower her to make the best choices for her body.
  • Kitchen Control — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro writes about her struggles to relinquish control in the kitchen to her children.
  • Food — Emma at Your Fonder Heart lets her seven month old teach her how to feed a baby.
  • Kitchen Fun? — Adrienne at Mommying My Way questions how much fun she can have in a non-functional kitchen, while trying to remain positive about the blessings of cooking for her family.
  • Kitchen Adventures — Erica at ChildOrganics shares fun ways to connect with your kids in the kitchen.
  • Kids in the Kitchen: Finding the Right Tools — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares some of her favorite child-sized kitchen gadgets and where to find them.
  • The Kitchen Classroom — Laura at Authentic Parenting knows that everything your kids want to learn is at the end of the ladle.
  • Kids in the Kitchen — Luschka from Diary of a First Child talks about the role of the kitchen in family communication and shares fun kitchen activities for the under two.
  • Our Kitchen is an Unschooling Classroom. — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle explores the many ways her kitchen has become a rich environment for learning.
  • Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares lots of resources for using Montessori food preparation activities for young children in the kitchen.
  • My Little Healthy Eater — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares her research on what is the best first food for babies, and includes a healthy and yummy breakfast recipe.
  • Two Boys and Papa in the Kitchen: Recipe for Disaster?MudpieMama shares all about her fears, joys and discoveries when the boys and handsome hubby took over the kitchen.
  • Food choices, Food treats — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea shares her family's relationship with food.
  • learning to eat — Catherine at learner mummy reflects on little M's first adventures with food.


  1. Yep, I'm right there with you! I have to remember to be mindful (to remember the long term benefits!) and like you said, let go, when my kiddos are helping out. And in the end it's so worth it :-)

  2. I could have written this very post :) I'm also a perfectionist, and cooking with my son has probably been as much or more of a learning experience for me as it is for him - you put it perfectly!

  3. Oh, man, no kidding. Some days I'm all patience and gentleness and "Oh, isn't that a unique way to crack an egg!" And some days, I'm roaring, "Aggh! Just get out of my kitchen! I just cleaned that." Sigh. I'm trying to learn patience … I guess we're all trying!


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