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I have 2 boys ages 5 and 8 who like to work in the kitchen. I have found that if you let them select recipes, they are more apt to try new things.
I made 3 "cookbooks" for them. I took a three ring binder and pasted a picture on the front of what was in the cookbook: 1 with desserts, 1 with side dishes, 1 with main dishes. Inside I took and 3 hole punched recipes with pictures that I had run off the computer. I started with about 10 recipes in each, so they didn't get overwhelmed. Once a week, they take turns one picks the main dish, one picks the side and I pick one. They have to help make the meal, do clean up, and shop for anything we may need. Every couple weeks I take and add new recipes and take out ones we weren't so fond of.
I have found doing this has really cut back on the "Yuckies" as I call them. They eat a better variety of food, and I know what they're making is good for them. Also, its a great way to spend time together, teach important food prep rules, math lessons, reading,and talk about issues that re going on in the family, school, and friends. During these times they are very attentive, and open up more easily it seems so I can keep up on their world.
Excellent idea and would be a great gift to give at any time of year.
Thanks so much for the great idea.