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Involving Toddlers in Meal Prep: Fall Edition

Meal prep is a fantastic opportunity to engage toddlers in the kitchen and instill healthy habits from a young age. In this blog post, we will explore how toddlers can actively participate in meal preparation this fall, from washing food to using a learning tower, mixing ingredients in a bowl, and even using toddler-safe knives. We’ll also provide some fall-inspired meal prep ideas, including a recipe for delicious pumpkin muffins that your little ones will love to help prepare. Remember to be okay if it gets a bit messy in the process. This allows you to involve them in learning to clean up!

Utilizing a Learning Tower: Enhancing Independence and Safety:

– Introduce the concept of a learning tower, a secure and adjustable stool that allows your toddler to reach countertops safely.

– Discuss how a learning tower promotes independence, confidence, and a sense of responsibility.

– Explore tasks your toddler can accomplish with a learning tower, such as pouring ingredients, whisking, or observing food preparation.

– We like this toddler learning tower because the height is adjustable and can be used as they grow

Washing Food: Engaging Toddlers in the Cleaning Process

– Explain the importance of washing fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients before cooking or eating.

– Encourage your toddler to join in by using a gentle scrub brush or their hands to clean produce under running water.

– Emphasize the educational aspects of this activity, teaching them about the importance of cleanliness and food safety.

Introducing Toddler-Safe Knives: Safety and Skill Development:

– Emphasize the importance of teaching toddlers knife skills under adult supervision to promote safety and skill development.

– Highlight toddler-safe knives designed with blunt tips and serrated edges to ensure safety. These knives are perfect to start with.

– Suggest tasks that toddlers can safely perform, such as cutting soft fruits or vegetables using the toddler-safe knives.

– For fall, you can roast vegetables like squash until they are soft and have your child practice cutting them

Engaging toddlers in meal prep not only helps develop their motor skills and creativity but also encourages healthy eating habits from an early age.

By involving them in tasks like washing food, using a learning tower, mixing ingredients, and even using toddler-safe knives, we can make meal prep a fun and educational experience. Fall meal prep, with its abundance of seasonal ingredients, provides a wonderful opportunity to bond with your little ones while creating delicious and nutritious meals together. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and enjoy the joyful journey of fall meal prep with your toddler!

Fall Meal Prep Ideas with Toddlers: Baking Pumpkin Muffins:

Ingredients:

– 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 teaspoon baking soda

– ½ teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

– ½ teaspoon ground cloves

– ½ cup granulated sugar

– ½ cup brown sugar

– ½ cup unsalted butter, melted

– 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

– 2 large eggs

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Optional toppings:

– Raisins

– Pumpkin seeds (optional)

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease with cooking spray.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract.

4. Gradually add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in dense muffins.

5. If desired, fold in raisins or pumpkin seeds for added texture and flavor. 6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ full.

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

8. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy these delicious pumpkin muffins as a delightful treat for breakfast or snack time. Your toddler will be thrilled to have been a part of the baking process!

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