Choosey Eaters Choose Their Own Meals

I'm not saying you should give in to your kid's request for chocolate laced sandwiches everyday, but you may want to consider allowing the little ones to come up with their own "healthy" concoctions if you want them to eat. Sure it's a leap of faith to let them in the same room with sharp knives and bubbling pans, but chances are, with your supervision, they'll be safe and more interested in food than ever before. You may be surprised how creative and experimental a kid can be when given a little autonomy.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Provide healthy ingredients as a starting point.
  • Remind your child before, after and during the process to wash their hands.
  • Allow children to handle the "assembly" or mixing of ingredients on their own, then step in for processes involving the oven or stovetop.
  • Don't be a neat freak. Spills will happen. This is a time to accept it, rather than disheartening your budding chef.
  • Combine familiar favorites with foods that you would like your child to try. Chances are when she puts them together herself, she's more likely to embrace the results.