Cooking with a Toddler



Hi, dolls!

One of my favorite things about Fall is making chili. I’ve tried so many different recipes but the one we came up with today is a favorite for sure! Riley loves to cook with me and I think it’s so important that he does. You learn so many important skills when you cook besides just coordination, i.e. patience, creativity, flexibility and pride. It is also a fantastic way to introduce new food to children because when they are involved in the cooking process they are more likely to branch out. The same goes for the grocery shopping, Riley was so excited to cook today after we shopped for all the ingredients yesterday.


He’s the best helper! #minishoppingcartsforthewin

As soon as I opened the door this morning he’s like, “we’re going to have so much fun cooking today, let’s get started!!!” Haha don’t you wish you still had the joy of a child? Every experience is more fun and exciting and wonderful?? Let’s all get back to that. We would be so much happier people. Sorry side bar, back to chili.

So when I talked about patience earlier, that was for both of us. Something I take so seriously in my day-to-day with Riley is never being impatient. It sounds simple and easy and most of the time it is. But I often have to count to 3 and remember I am teaching him something for the first time or shaping the person he is going to be and responding in frustration is not going to help him do better. You only get to live today once, so don’t waste it being impatient. Ha you thought you were only getting a chili recipe didn’t you? Sorry! 🙂

Every week I introduce Riley to at least one new food, last week one was sweet potato and he was such a fan we carried it into this week for our chili. Two thumbs up for chili and cornbread day!



Prep time: With a toddler an hour+, without 20 minutes

Cook time: 2 and a half hours


  • 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes x 2
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 2 sweet potatoes chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (this was Riley’s addition and is totally optional haha)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (add to chili cooked)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • shredded Mexican cheese to top if desired

Instructions: (slow cooker option-combine everything, cook on low for 8 hours,  precook quinoa before adding)

  1. In a large pot cook the onions, garlic and salt in olive oil on medium heat until the onions are clear. Stirring often.
  2. In a small saucepan cook the quinoa according to instructions.
  3. Add sweet potatoes to mixture and cook a few minutes just to give the potatoes a little more time.
  4. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, peas, cooked quinoa, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and brown sugar. Mix well and reduce heat to low and cook for two and a half hours. Stirring occasionally. Chili is done when sweet potatoes are soft.
  5. Top with cheese and serve.


Here’s our finished product.

We also made cornbread to eat with our chili, not from scratch, don’t judge. Riley loved eating cornbread for the first time, duh who wouldn’t?! So delish! We found this brand at Mariano’s and liked it! It was light, fluffy and sweet.

      IMG_8371 IMG_8370



His first bites are always scary for both of us, ha.


Two thumbs up for chili and cornbread. He also said we are such good chefs! #cleanplateclub

I hope you try this recipe and like it as much as we did! It was sweet and savory with a tiny bit of kick. Feel free to increase the spice level. I would have if I wasn’t cooking for a toddler. What are some of your favorite chili recipes?

As always, thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful night and remember to be patient with everyone you come in contact with.



No Comments Yet.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *