Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cooking Tips With An Infant

  People have been asking me how on earth I am able to cook with an infant. It is no easy task, and by no means am I an expert.  However, I figured from the little experience I have gained I can offer a few tips that can help new moms out.

Tip #1
- Plan, plan, plan if there is one thing I have learned since being a mommy, it is that the more you plan the easier things get. This is especially helpful if you are cooking. Read your recipe first, even if it is one you've made a thousand times, it's much different with an infant helper. Get out all ingredients, bowls, and pans and mixers out a head of time. Make sure baby is fed, and has a clean diaper and something to entertain him. Also, have a back up so if baby cries and wants to do something else, already have in mind your next place to move baby.

Tip #2
- Carrying baby does not work as well as you think it might. Xavier loves being in his wrap on me and I thought this would work very well. I was very wrong, he got bored since I was standing in the same place a lot. His arms were out grabbing things, not good around a stove. Finally, when he is facing forward there is drool that drips that could end up in your food. ( Luckily, I caught that before it happened ).

Tip #3
- Try to involve baby as much as possible. I realize that baby is too young to really cut out cookies and decorate them with you but you will be surprised just how much babies do like to do things when you cook. Many times, I let Xavier smell ingredients. ( He doesn't eat solids yet, so can't let him taste ). I also try to do as many things at the table as possible and he likes to sit in his seat and watch. He loves if I am cutting up things and adding them to the bowl, the many colors and shapes seem to light up his eyes. Also, fun noises help, he likes the mixer and food processor as well. Now that he can grasp things I also give him things he can play with such as a wooden spoon or a whisk.

Tip #4
- Expect delays. Yup, everything takes longer with an infant; including cooking. Plan that even your easiest recipe will take longer and know that going into to it. You will start sauteing on the stove and baby will cry. Or your hands will be gooey with raw meat from meatballs and you will have to grab baby immediately.  I always add at least 20 minutes on to every recipe.

Tip #5
- Wash Wash Wash your hands!!! I am sure you do when you cook, but with a baby you need to even more. Remember to wash your hands before touching your baby, especially if you handled raw meat or eggs. Also, remember when you go back and forth from baby to food, make sure you wash your hands again. Go ahead and stock up on soap.

Tip #6
- Make light of a bad situation. Do not stress cooking with your little one. Try to enjoy yourself, relax and just make light of the situation, no matter how good or bad it is. Also, remember if you need to lighten the mood a little music goes a long way for both you and baby!

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