One of the best ways to introduce new food and have toddlers and preschoolers accept a wide variety of food is to have them in the kitchen and help in the preparation of the family meal. Yes, it could be messy and may take longer. However, cooking is a valuable life skill to teach our children. It teaches nutrition and food safety. In addition, it builds math, science, language, and motor skills.

What kitchen activities can children do? Toddlers and preschoolers can help in measuring, pouring, mashing, stirring, tasting, and cleaning. A 2-year-old can tear lettuce or greens and rinse vegetables and fruits. A 3-year-old can add ingredients and scoop and mash potatoes. A 4-year-old can help measure dry ingredients, help make sandwiches, and help toss salads. A 5-year-old can measure liquids and use an eggbeater.

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Have fun and bon appétit!