Cheers... well, actually, 'Chairs'

Chopped vege

I have always been aware of the benefits of getting children involved in food decisions and preparation to increase their interest or likelihood of eating a food or meal, however, I always considered this more relevant to older children who could stand at the bench and help.  But alas, not so, the relevance is for whoever can simply stand.  Once your child can steadily and safely stand on a chair or a stool, get them up beside you when you are preparing food.  Peeling vegetables is a great one.  There is water involved (always fascinating), they can hold the vegetables, put them in the pot, have a sample, watch you chop.  I also have a blunt peeler that my 18month old can use to copy me as he was pretty insistent to have a go.  He likes to pick up the peels and put them in a bowl.  And making soup is his favourite as he gets to drop the vegetables into the  top of the blender.

Considering he is a child who never sits still, he can stand still on the stool against the bench and ‘help’ for a very long time.  He likes to see the vegetables go into the pot, and then watch them come out and onto his plate. Much more engaging then something just appearing in front of him at the table.

It may take you a little longer than normal to get through the vegetable preparation, but considering often at this time of the day, the alternative is them clinging to your legs demanding attention, it ends up being a win-win as it is source of entertainment for your child as well.   I am hoping that all this practice will mean that by the age of 5, I will be handing all food preparation on to him!