Including your toddler in cooking is not only a great way to impart important life skills early on, but also a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child! Pancakes are a great way to involve your toddler in the kitchen as they bypass many of the more dangerous activities such as chopping or boiling, and have easy steps that even little hands can do! Cracking eggs, pouring milk, weighing flour, and stirring batter are all actions that can help to develop your little one’s motor skills - and then you can make a show of the frying and flipping to further impress your enraptured offspring!
Winner for Weaning
Even if your child is still too young to be involved in the technical aspects of cooking, it doesn’t mean that they can’t take part in Pancake Day! Pancakes are a great food type for weaning, as they are soft and easy to eat and you can control exactly what ingredients go into them. Remember, some of your favourite adult toppings may not be suitable for little ones - think bacon, syrups, lemon and sugar, etc. However, mashed fruit, such as strawberries or bananas, or even a smear of peanut butter will make sure the pancakes are more moist, less bland, and give your child a good variety of flavours and textures!
Sneak in Some Skills
Whatever your child’s age, there are plenty of opportunities for learning hidden within Pancake Day activities! You can help to develop your child’s literacy with recipe reading - for this, write out a recipe for pancakes in the simplest terms and read together with your child to improve their reading skills! If your child is too young to read but old enough to speak, you can work on sequencing! Talk to your child about each step and what happens next, and get them to anticipate what happens when you add milk to flour, or batter to a hot frying pan!
Play with Food
Although generally it’s better to encourage your child to eat their food rather than play with it, Pancake Day is a great occasion to do both without creating long-term bad habits as it’s a one-off treat in the year. Think of pancake construction as artwork - you can create faces, animals, or even vehicles with some strategically placed berries or sauces! Try giving your child different parts of their meal in Section Plates and let them arrange them however they please! Just remember to encourage them to eat the decorated pancakes, too!