I was cooking lunch when my 6yo asked if he could cook something too, however he wanted to do it all on his own! I must admit, my busy mama brain thought ‘argh I just need to get lunch done!’.
I gathered some mental space and went with it.
What an opportunity to encourage independence, learning and self feeding skills!
I gently guided his process. I suggested he gather his ingredients and the items he thought he would need. I offered him options around how he might use different foods and if they needed washing. He got his 1.5yo brother to help wash the veggies, so I laid a towel on the floor to manage water spills and my sanity.
This is about allowing the child to do the work and learning. It becomes relatively effortless when they are exercising their own ideas and choices. As they wash, chop, crack eggs, and stir, they are exposing their sensory system to smells, colours, and textures, increasing their tolerance and acceptance of foods. This positive experience makes meals much more familiar and safe to consume.
At the end, my son wanted to write a list of the foods he used because he plans to make his new favourite dish again and doesn’t want to forget the ingredients! Also, writing practice!
I am grateful for this rich experience with my children, full of connection and happy tummies!
Here is the recipe, I hope you Enjoy!
Ines Astudillo, paediatric dietitian
He has called it: Bean and Vegetables Soup
(Although it’s not quite a soup! It could be with more water)
It served 4
Kidneys beans 400g can drained
Eggs x 2
Tuna 95g tin
Zucchini x 1
Carrot x 1
Tomato x 1
Garlic, 1 clove
Olive oil, 2 Tb
Salt to taste
1. Using a thermomix (speed 7, 2 seconds) or food processor, chop zucchini, carrot, tomato and garlic.
2. Add kidney beans, eggs, passata, shallots, water, olive oil.
3. Simmer for 12mins
4. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
5. Once bean mix is cooked, stir in tuna and pasta.