A mom on TikTok who goes by the name Laura Love has been stirring up comments and viral attention after she revealed that her toddlers, who are 3-years-old and 17-months old respectively, are able to cook themselves dinner and snacks, and even use the stove.
In a series of viral videos — one of which shows one of her children serving himself banana on bread, another which shows her 3-year-old cooking eggs on a miniature, fully-functional stove — Laura Love has shown that her two young children are totally self-sufficient when it comes to snack time.
That being said, it clearly took a lot of patience — and takes a ton of supervision.
In the videos, Laura reveals just how much time and patience it took for her toddlers to become self-sufficient in their so-called “kitchen.”
Love bought a camping kitchen for her toddler with an operational stove and a toy kitchen from Ikea which she hooked up to a water source to make it functional. While she stresses that she always supervises her children as they make their snacks (and even, in the case of the eggs, helps them set everything up in their own kitchen area), she’s clearly trying to teach them independence.
“Of course I’m always there to keep an eye on him and make sure he’s being safe,” she said per Newsweek. “…It’s a slow process that involves patience, consistency, and lots of messes.”
In one amazing video, her 3-year-old peels potatoes, slices them and chops them using a knife safely, mashes them, and makes them mashed by adding dairy. Yum!
Here’s the deal: the videos are cute and viral because they seem so novel and implausible. But Love seems to be following a Montessori method which is designed to foster independence in young children. Montessori specifically provides age-appropriate guides for young children to cook with the understanding that kids can thrive in the kitchen.
Letting kids cook in the kitchen in an age-appropriate way helps them tune their fine motor skills, through tasks like stirring, cracking eggs, and pouring liquids. It helps them develop executive functioning skills by engaging them in a process with distinct steps. That’s not to mention math skills from measuring, science skills by observing foods change through the cooking process, and sensory skills by tasting and smelling ingredients.
All of these activities can help kids feel independent and grow their sense of autonomy. But it requires parents to take a deep breath, step back and become incredibly comfortable with spills and messes. That can be incredibly difficult. Laura Love seems to have found her kid cooking zen which points to an important point. The reason the littlest kids don’t cook more isn’t that they can’t or don’t want to, it’s because parents don’t know they can or won’t let them.
But Love and her kids prove that with the correct supervision, these skills can be honed time and time again and, soon enough, her kids will be cooking four-course meals. (We kid… kind of!)