When I cook with my children I think about their interests and their skills levels. What I've never thought of doing is choosing a recipe based on their schemas! It totally makes sense. I recently found The Tickle Fingers Cookbook which is the first cook book I've found for children as young as one-year-old and based on the children's current schemas! I enjoyed this book so much that I bought the ebook and then the same day went back and ordered a hard copy. So obviously I wanted to share it with you too.
"The idea is that, if you can identify how they like to play, you can tailor the way you present learning activities, including cooking, to help them get the most from them... Schemas won't always be obvious. Some toddlers have an obvious tendency towards a certain schema; others tend towards several and/or towards different ones at different stages. It's not something to get hung up on, but if you recognise a schema in your child, then it can be useful to think about which recipes or tasks they will engage with most." - The Tickle Fingers Toddler Cookbook: Hands-on Fun in the Kitchen for 1 to 4s.
It is refreshing to find a cook book that believes and trusts in the child and their natural development. There is encouragement here but no pushing or rushing into things the child isn't ready for. This book believes in children, it believes in toddlers, it understands what they are capable of and helps to guide you through it. It is also good to know that I am not the only one cooking or baking with my one-year-old, it is possible and the benefits are huge. If you don't give the child the opportunity, you will never know what they can do.
This cook book breaks down the recipes according to schemas (like rotating, transporting, enveloping, transforming) and main tasks and skills (like spooning, mixing, squishing, cutting) and while it contains lots of recipes that are familiar to our family (Tzatziki, Frittata, Quiche ) it also contains lots of recipes that are new to us, but that we would eat (Courgette and Carrot Bites, Vegetable Korma, Raspberry Cheesecake). It also categorizes recipes on the type of food (breakfast, snack, lunch, supper) and degree of difficulty (easy peasy, budding cook, confident chef). It is also real, the recipes are doable with my children and with ingredients we frequently use.
Today Otto and I made the Lemon Yoghurt Cake and it was delicious. The author gets toddlers, there is no raw egg in the recipe as toddlers are likely to want to taste it raw - just like Otto did. This book is as useful for its ideas and for inspiration as it is for the recipes. It allows me to work out what I can do with Otto, rather than what I can't.
It is also a good cook book for older children. My seven-year-old, Otis can read and follow recipes and these are really simple for him as these recipes container fewer steps and ingredients than other recipes.
Often with toddlers, our expectations either are too high or too low. This cook book guides the user on why and really how to involve the toddler so it benefits everyone - what a treasure!