Little kids are hard work. Few would deny it. And it was a revelation to me when, about 12 years ago, one of my friends carelessly commented that she often cooked with – rather than just for – her kids. Really I should have known it; as a toddler I (apparently) spent many a happy hour mixing herbs and spices while my mother was creating her legendary concoctions in the kitchen. But thus started a odyssey  of culinary family fun in the kitchen.

And here, in approximate chronological order, are a few historic highlights to show how much mess, fun, and food can be created by little tots.