I've managed to get Iona to do a bit of cooking this week, mainly by bringing it to her in the living room, rather than moving her into the kitchen where there are too many distractions such as the vegetable cupboard. Earlier in the week we reached the story of Jacob and Esau in our Bible studies, so I decided Iona could help me make a stew like Rebecca made for Jacob to give to Isaac. I explained to Iona what we'd be doing, and after washing the vegetables I sat with her and helped her (hand over hand) use a potato peeler to peel a parsnip and a swede. She agreed to help, on condition that she was able to eat small pieces of them as we went along (yes, believe it or not, she eats raw swede and parsnip!). She also watched me peel the carrots and chop all the veg. I then peeled an onion and showed her how I chopped it. Afterwards I cooked the veg with chicken stock, herbs, yellow lentils, and pearl barley in a slow cooker, adding dumplings towards the end. Iona really enjoyed eating it, and I kept reminding her of the Bible story as we cooked and ate it, reinforcing that we should be nice to other people, especially our family.
The next day we read the story of Jacob's ladder, and I got Iona to help me make biscuits (Iona stirred the mix several times for me). Again, I explained as I went along what I was doing. I then formed the biscuits into ladder shapes before baking them, so every time we had a biscuit we could talk again about Jacob's dream and how God promises to look after us. This seems to have made an impression, as yesterday Iona had been talking about dying then said "We're not going to die - I'm only joking! We can't die because Jesus is here."!
The idea for both these activities came from Denise Oliveri on Suite 101: http://www.suite101.com/content/jacob-and-esau-bible-lesson-ideas-a34454 .
Today I made hash for Iona and her daddy for lunch, and I asked if she'd like to help me prepare it again, to which she replied yes. Again, I brought everything into the living room, to stop her running wild around the kitchen. I got her to sit next to me on the settee, helped her hand over hand to hold the potato peeler, and helped her peel the potatoes. She was a bit nervous about hurting herself or me, especially later when I got her to help me slice the washed, topped and tailed leek, but accepted that if I helped her she wouldn't, and she again enjoyed eating the result.