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Many parents want to know how they can get their children to be more adventurous and less picky eaters. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to get your kids in the kitchen this year.

Eating is a sensory experience - food should be touched, smelled, seen and tasted.  
Research shows that when children participate in preparing food they are more likely to try it (ahem: vegetables). This should be done regularly and consistently because cooking with your kids once will not always spark enough curiosity to change behavior.

But, it doesn't always sound as appealing when you think about the extra time and mess that it may create for you. So, here are a few tips, simple recipes and fun gift ideas that will help you include your kids in the kitchen in a productive, minimal-cleaning way that both you and them will enjoy.

This year, use the holidays as a time to get your kids in the kitchen and to set goals for your family’s health in 2016.  

Wishing you all a healthy & happy new year!

Engage your kids by appealing to their interests. Cooking isa way to teach and practice math, science, reading and art. If your child is excited about reading, have him practice reading the ingredients. If your child loves math, quiz her about addition and fractions using the measuring cups.

Get them their own gear Get them their own gear to empower them. A child safe knife and a child’s size apron can go a long way. See below for some ideas that also make great Hanukah and Christmas gifts!

Focus more on the food prep than the final product. Emphasize the fun in purchasing and making the food rather than tasting the food. Allow your children to help prepare the recipe without any stress that they will be pressured to eat it. You don’t want them to feel that there is a motive for the activity.

Set a schedule to create consistency. The more the better, but whether it is weekly or monthly, set dates that your child can cook with you, grandma or even the babysitter. You can also set a day for your child to pick a new recipe of the week for the family or to help make the upcoming week’s grocery list.

Choose kid-friendly recipes to make cooking easier for you and the kids. Choose simple recipes with few ingredients and under 6 steps. See below for some popular recipes that I use in my kids cooking classes and for some of my favorite kid’s cookbooks. If you prefer paper-less, visit CHOPCHOP online for kid-friendly recipes.

Give your little ones simple, reduced-mess tasks throughout the cooking process:
  • Tear lettuce and spinach with fingers
  • Smash soft foods in ziplock bags – place fruits like bananas and avocados (good for pancake, guacamole recipes) in a sealed bag and allow kids to mash it up with their hands and fists.
  • Ingredient runner
  • Citrus roller – before slicing a lemon or lime to juice it, have children roll the fruit on the counter using their palms to soften the rind which better releases the juice
  • Pour liquids
  • Stir batter
  • Pick herbs off stems
  • Wash produce
  • Grease baking pan

And, if you have a spiralizer try these delicious and easy sweet potato latkes for Hanukah!

Chef's Tools
Little Gear
Kid's Cookbooks
  • Feeding For Success Parent Workshop at NYL School in Greenpoint Nicole spoke to pre-school parents about ways to establish positive mealtime environments at home and to combat the all too common problem of picky eating.
  • Eat Up: Elevating Kids Nutrition Middleberg Pediatrics had a blast hosting a make your own superfoods parfait snack-tivity station at this amazing event to benefit Just Food.
  • Edible Holiday Gifts Middleberg Nutrition and Miranda Hammer of the Crunchy Radish are teaming up to host an edible gift giving event this Thursday December 10th from 630-8 pm. You will learn how to make 3 tasty edible gifts and will leave with a goodie bag full of our favorite products. Click here to RSVP!

Contact if you are interested in having her speak at your child’s school, community center, synagogue or parent group.

To explore more kid-friendly and nutritionist approved recipes, check out our
Middleberg Pinterest board Kids In The Kitchen
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