How to Keep Your Little Kid Busy While You’re Cooking

How to Keep Your Little Kid Busy While You’re Cooking
Photo: Deniz Toprak, Shutterstock

If ever you find yourself in a situation where your small child is not-so-patiently waiting for dinner, and you need just a few more minutes of them out of the kitchen and away from the hot stove, there is a solution you may not have thought of. And that solution — now hear me out — is condiment bottles.

Reddit user u/drybrodhi explains:

If you need to distract a small child while you’re getting dinner on the table, hand them a condiment bottle and tell them the label says to “shake well” and impress upon them how important it is for the meal this is done. This used to buy my parents 5-10 minutes.

Wait, stop! Don’t freak out on me. I know what you’re going to say. “Sure, because I really want tomato sauce flung across my walls!” or “Great idea, Italian dressing poured all over my child, floor, and the cat.” I know little kids and bottles full of messy liquids are not typically a great match. But remember: You are (or should be) smarter than your toddler.

If you’re going to give them an already opened bottle, check the lid first! You probably screwed it back on properly the last time you used it, but let’s be sure. If it is screwed on properly but it is the type that also pops open, a strategic piece of Scotch tape should keep things in place.

But the best way to do this, which requires true commitment to the cause, is to use a decoy bottle. Choose a fresh, never-opened, still-sealed bottle of ketchup, mustard or dressing that they can shake-shake-shake until it’s time to eat, at which point you slyly swap it out for the already opened bottle.

(Oh, and do not give them the type of condiment bottle pictured above. That would be bad. It’s just for show.)

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