It certainly amazes me when I see very young kids doing things I had no idea they could do at that age! Whether it be a small chore at home such as feeding the dog, putting their dirty clothes in the hamper or getting their next diaper. This has been my experience around a just turned two year old niece. Children are truly able to absorb so much information at a young age. When it comes to enjoying the preparation of food and cooking healthy meals it really is just another opportunity for young children to keep learning.
Check out this great article on "Cooking With School-Aged Kids" for the full vision on the vast number of skills your child is learning when you invite them in to your kitchen to be your "sous chef"!
Measuring, math, manual dexterity, reading recipes, hygiene, cleaning and listening skills are some examples of the types of learning that occurs while preparing a healthy meal.
For younger children, learning what colours they can put together to make a meal by choosing healthy foods will add to feeling like they are part of what you can then enjoy together as a family.
As you can guess this will add a few extra minutes to the agenda. Make a plan and pick a night where "kids cook". This will be as rewarding for them as it is for us adults.
I recall years ago a former client saying that he was pretty sure his eleven year old son was the only Gr 6 boy leaving the house that morning calling back to his mom, "don't forget to get the oregano for dinner tonight" on his night to make dinner!
Lets keep this movement going, and you may end up with the best little sous chef you could have asked for.