Cooking… Kind Of


Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I do lots of cooking. It’s a great passion of mine. Whether it’s traditional British dishes like steak pie or corned beef hash, or Chinese noodles or Italian Lasagne, myself or Hedgehog aim to cook a fresh nutritious meal every day, and make something completely new at least once per week. So far Nookie has had little participation in all this cooking, other than a brief go at making rice crispy buns few weeks ago (which turned into a bit of a messy disaster!). So when I saw this month’s topic for the Carnival of Natural Parenting, I knew I had to let her have a go at cooking. 

Nookie doesn’t eat very much, and she’s a very picky eater, so as she grows I’m hoping to inspire her about food and let her play with it and be relaxed with it. Today is the start of that adventure…

I decided pizza would be a great start! It’s simple, the ingredients could all be laid out for her to mess with, eat, and hopefully assemble onto the base, and she usually enjoys eating pizza. She was so excited about the prospect of cooking that we started with a bit of a meltdown where she wouldn’t actually allow me to lay the stuff out for her. But a few minutes later she was off… scoffing sweetcorn and pepperoni, and throwing passata everywhere! (You’ll have to excuse the cooking on the floor. We don’t have room in our home for a table).

(Yep, she’s naked, as usual!)

Some of it ended up on the pizza bases!

Getting there…

Eventually cooking got boring and eating sweetcorn was far more interesting. So mummy finished adding the final components, (very thrilled indeed that Nookie was eating vegetables!)

Nom nom nom

And here is the finished pizza, all ready for eating… 

But apparently sweetcorn was still far more interesting. Ah well. Hedgehog and I enjoyed it anyway!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children of all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don’t always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking… Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen‘s family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she’s sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things … And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children’s Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children’s artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father’s Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It’s a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with… well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura’s Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


Filed under Play, Unschooling

14 responses to “Cooking… Kind Of

  1. This is really, really cute. I must say, I’ve never seen a naked cooking on the floor pic before – seems like she is really into it. Great story – made me smile.

  2. You are ambitious, making something new every week! I tend to stick to things I know, but I’ve had to branch out a lot since going egg/dairy free. You’ve inspired me to try pizza again, though, since I picked up some Daiya
    mozzarella cheese :)
    ~Dionna @

    • Yum!
      It’s mainly because I’ve got all these new cookbooks from people and loads of recipes I want to try. I tend to try them and put the best ones into my own recipe file for keeps. I have a massive file now full of delicious recipes… mostly cake! ;)

  3. Awww, those pictures are ADORABLE! We haven’t had pizza in a while, since one of my kids is gluten-free, but we always have fun when we make it. You’ve inspired me to try again with gluten-free dough. -Erika

  4. Cooking with kids looks very similar here — on the floor and all! And: wanting to help us cook, petering out halfway through, and then refusing to eat the finished project. Ha ha!

    The corn on pizza thing — when I was traveling with a group of Americans in England, that was the ingredient no one could get past seeing on pizza, though I quite like it!

    • Ha ha, glad I’m not the only one.

      Okay, do American’s not eat sweetcorn on pizza then? Huh… I never even thought about it. Chicken and sweetcorn is quite a popular topping over here. It’s delicious!

  5. Aaaaw…fantastic! What a great way to inspire a child to cook and try out new dishes :)

  6. Like Lauren, I was surprised to find corn on pizza when I lived in England for a year and a half while I worked on my master’s degree. Great activity for food preparation skills!

    • Ha, weird. I never even thought about it. But then I think Americans use corn in a lot more ways than we do over here. Pretty much corn is just used as a vegetable like peas or whatever else. We use it in curries or on pizzas, or sometimes on the cob as a side dish. But that’s about it. Though with the popularisation of Mexican food and such like we now eat corn-based snacks like tortillas occasionally. But I doubt many people would even realise they’re even made from corn.

  7. So cute! And such great looking ‘za! Your photos bring a new meaning to “The Naked Chef” : p I love doing cooking experiments like this with my son, too. Likewise, he loses interest half-way through, but it’s a start! (Bonus points when he eats some veggies after losing interest). Likewise, after reading some comments, I’ve never thought of putting sweet corn on pizza (despite like barbeque chicken pizza and the like) – We’ll have to try it! Thanks for sharing! : )

    • Thanks.
      I can’t believe Americans don’t eat sweetcorn on pizza. You don’t know what you’re missing! :)
      It’s definitely a start – and we have to start somewhere. It won’t be long before they’re helping us in the kitchen. :D

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