Thursday, January 7, 2016

Little Helpers...can be costly.

My daughter LOVES to help me in the kitchen and I LOVE to have her help, really I do.  What I have a hard time with is the money that I lose on things she helps me with.  Two of her favorite things to play with in the kitchen are flour & macaroni noodles.  When I became a SAHM, I noticed how much more easily I would get annoyed at how many noodles were being wasted each time she played in the kitchen while I worked. But, I didn't want to take this time of learning away from her nor did I want to take away my time with her as she helped and played.Plus, I didn't want to send the wrong message that it's ok to play and waste food. 

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Then one day I realized, why do I need to give her fresh noodles every time?  So I got a little mason jar and a plastic reuseable lid to store her own noodles in.

This little jar is what she uses and after we are done we pick them back up and put them in the jar, yep even the ones on the floor.  I mean she doesn't eat them, they are strickly for play cooking.  That way she has them for the next time we need them.

Obviously, there are some noodles we don't put back into her jars; the under the fridge, under the stove or in the stovetop. But really, when all she does is put them in her little pans and plays cooking and then returns them, I'm fine with them being less than squeaky clean and then replacing them as needed.

These lids are great, and since they're plastic there's no possible way of her getting hurt by the lid.

These jars are great, they are the perfect size for her little hands to grab.  She loves having her own set, just like mom!  She knows exactly where her jar of noodles are and enjoys being able to get them out herself.

Now I will say I haven't quite tried this with the flour yet, it might be a little harder since it picks more dirt off the ground than the noodles do.  But maybe I can just recycle the flour off the counter instead.  Either way, I plan to use the same method of storing it.

Now if you like this idea, but don't want to spend any money, you can use any jar to store the noodles (or whatever you let your little one use) in.  
An old salsa jar, jelly jar, or even a plastic bag will work great! 
I just happened to have these jars and lids at home and wasn't using one.

If you like the mini stainless steel pots and pans here's a link, they're pretty afordable.  My little one used to just use my pots and pans, but soon she realized they wouldn't fit in her stove and so for Christmas the hubby & I bought her her own set.

One last thing, my little peanut is 7 months and so baby girl and I make sure we scan the entire floor for any noodles since they can be a choking hazard. Let me know if you try to recycle any dried foods with your kids or have any tips! 


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