The Tiny Table

Life's better at the tiny table.

Archive for the tag “family”

Putting Away The Tutus

Wow, it sure has been a while! I’m sorry for neglecting my little blog but honestly? I’m sorry not sorry. I’ve spent the last two months soaking up the sun, jumping in bounce houses, camping in the backyard, canning and pickling everything I could get my hands on, the list goes on and on. Fall is now here. Holly is three. Football season is here. Pumpkins and flannel have replaced Popsicles and tutus.

Tutus and Smils

The Mullins House is calming down. Done are the late evenings chasing fireflies or listening to cicadas. Done are the early mornings to the farmers market. This weekend I’m taking a much needed day to visit a town I used to call home as a tourist.

I’ll be posting with more frequency. Up next is my Care Kit. What’s a Care Kit? The meal I make for friends and family when they need a break. Lacerated kidney? I’ll bring a Care Kit. Your child breaks his leg in 3 places? Be right over with a Care Kit. It’s incredibly easy and Holly helps me put everything together. In the mean time, I’m joining the Foodie Pen Pals and giving my health a front seat.

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5 Ways to Include Little Helpers in the Kitchen

In November of 2010, I was pre-heating the oven for some chicken nuggets for Holly. I went to the freezer to pull out said chicken nuggets and the next thing I heard was a scream. Holly had crawled into the kitchen behind me, pulled open the drawer where we keep our cookie sheets under the oven, and closed it on her hand. To this day, she still has the Fight Club-ish scar on her hand.

So for a long time after that I felt horribly guilty. There were too many times I freaked out with a shout of “Holly! Get out of the kitchen!”

Things are different now. Holly will be three in September. She is my little helper. So what’s appropriate for toddlers to do in the kitchen? We have some rules (for now).

1. No hot items. See above. If I’m working in the oven, or I have hot oil on the stove, she knows to stay back and pretend in her play kitchen just around the corner from my kitchen.

2. Stand on a step stool to see what’s going on! Knowledge is power and little kids soak up everything. Case in point: Holly sees me getting out certain ingredients together, she knows it’s ice cream time!

3. Give kids tasks they can handle. So what if she botches up an ear of corn? Kids love to feel like they are helping and they’ll take pride in fixing a meal with you. Shucking corn, pouring dry ingredients, or getting bowls out of the cabinets are all ways kids can help feel involved.

4. Explain to them what you’re doing. “We mix the dry stuff together first, so when we add the eggs and milk, it doesn’t get lumpy!”

5. Let them taste as you go. Licking beaters or trying fresh ingredients will help kids develop a palate beyond chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

Holly is becoming a little foodie. It took me a long time to get to where I am in my food journey. This kid was sucking down portobello mushroom lasagna before she was two, now eats plain Greek yogurt and is a pro at the local farmer’s markets. If there was a casting call for Toddler Iron Chef Judges, I’d sign her up in a heart beat.

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