Photo of Jamie Oliver cooking while holding baby River prompts online backlash

Jamie Oliver cooking with his six-month-old baby, River.
Jamie Oliver cooking with his six-month-old baby, River. Photo: Facebook/Jamie Oliver

It's a situation many of us have found ourselves in at one stage or another - cooking dinner while bouncing an unsettled baby on our hip. When you're a parent, multi-tasking is simply part of the job description. 

When father-of-five, Jamie Oliver, took to social media last week, however, to share his own multi-tasking moment, the cute snap prompted a massive backlash from his concerned followers.

"Gotta start them young!" the proud dad captioned the photo of himself with his six-month-old son, River Rocket. "Bless baby River, he's so fascinated by the cooking."

Commenters were quick to criticise Oliver for placing River in harm's way, one even labelling the chef "irresponsible".

"Did he do a risk assessment before this !!!!!!!" one commenter wrote.

"So adorable. But PLEASE don't hold your baby near the stove,"said another.

Parenting expert, Sue Atkins, also weighed into the debate telling the Daily Mail, "It's a cute picture but underneath it there are some dangers. What if the pan suddenly started spitting?"

Other parents, however, leapt to Oliver's defence. 
"I love that even celebrity chefs have to balance their babies on their hips to simply get a meal on the table.  #keepingitreal," one mum wrote.
"I think you have enough experience with kids..," commented another, "And u're a top chef! Baby River is in safe hands!"
Mums and dads also shared their own cute snaps of their little ones helping in the kitchen, in solidarity with Oliver.
While Oliver's snap highlights just how many of us cook while juggling little ones - accidents, unfortunately, do happen. 
Last year, mum Molly Landis, took to Facebook to share a cooking horror story - one that could have been far worse. The new mother was making dinner when her stove burner exploded, sending a fire ball to her face, neck and chest.
"Yes, this is horrible and painful but I haven't been able to stop thinking about how lucky I truly am," she wrote. "As a new mom I often wear my sweet 4 week old in my wrap carrier (we know we all love being hands free especially with a needy babe)..on this particular night a guardian angel was watching over me and my baby bc for the first time in her life she fell asleep in her swing and I wasn't wearing her while I was in the kitchen."
Urging mums and dads to please be careful, Ms Landis wrote, "Since this happened I have had so many moms say "omg, I do that all the time" .. we never think it could happen to us and I never thought it would happen to me. So grateful she wasn't near the explosion."