With the weather turning autumnal this week I found myself stuck indoors with a restless toddler, hell-bent on rearranging the entire flat! So, I had the bright idea to do some cooking with her…

She still insists on putting everything in her mouth and, as I didn’t fancy dealing with an upset tummy at bedtime, I decided that we couldn’t go far wrong with chocolate cornflake cakes, or so I thought!

The first task was keeping her out of the kitchen while I warmed the chocolate in a bowl over the hob. This was easier said than done, as the smell of melted chocolate was far too tempting for her. In the end I resorted on strapping her into her highchair booster seat at the table with some crayons, which kept her amused for about two minutes, before she threw them one by one across the room, yelling triumphantly: “Gone Mama!”

By this time, though, I was ready and put some of the chocolate into a little bowl for her with a handful of cornflakes and the rest in a large bowl. She was fascinated watching me mix the cornflakes up with the chocolate and she helped me hold a spoon to scoop the mixture up and put it into a cake case.

I then left her alone with her bowl and a spoon while I made the rest (the chocolate was rapidly cooling).

She did try her best, but she hasn’t quite got the art of scooping with a spoon yet and got frustrated very quickly and used her hands instead! Very little actually made it on to the cake cases (most went onto her face and in her hair) but she looked pleased with her efforts. 

She then decided the next course of action was to turn her bowl upside-down and bang it with the spoon, before lifting the bowl up to leave a mound of chocolate and cornflakes on the table (I’d forgotten that the weather was so nice a week ago we had introduced her to sandcastles at the beach).

We finally managed to make ten crispy cakes… and quite a lot of mess. I think my little girl had fun, but I was exhausted and still needed to clean up!

What are your favourite simple recipes for cooking with toddlers?