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Culinary kids create sweet success

Posted: January 19, 2010 8:45 p.m.
Updated: January 20, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Honey Turkey Rollers Makes 6 servings

8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1/3 cup honey 1/4 cup mustard 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, optional 6 8-inch whole wheat tortillas 1 1/2 cups Colby Jack cheese, shredded 12 thin slices of turkey In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add honey, mustard an...

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Children are naturally curious when it comes to the ways of the kitchen, and parents are equally curious about how to include them in cooking and baking activities.

"The best way to promote lifelong healthy eating is to get kids involved in cooking at an early age," said Mitzi Dulan, registered dietitian and author. "Promoting the kitchen as a fun gathering place for the whole family will help build a positive attitude towards enjoying food."

With a little adult assistance, kids can easily learn their way around the kitchen and help create fun meals and snacks.

"Introduce kids to the kitchen by having them help prepare their own snacks," Dulan said. "A favorite snack for my children is a honey and peanut butter sandwich. Even very young kids can use a spoon to spread honey and peanut butter on whole wheat bread or a tortilla."

Here are three simple steps to heighten your child's desire to learn and be involved in the kitchen:

Tour the kitchen. Sure they eat there, but take time to familiarize them with measuring cups, cutting boards, hot pads and the general layout of the kitchen.

Point out where kitchen staples such as honey, spices and other dry ingredients are stored and use this time as an invitation to talk about flavors and favorite tastes.

Make meal planning a family event. Browse through cookbooks, old family recipes or visit honey.com for kid-friendly and tasty recipes.

Invite kids to pick at least one recipe to make each week to get them involved and interested in the family's eating habits.

Assist your little chef. Safety is a top priority for kids in the kitchen - adults should be active participants and lead by example.

Always demonstrate safe kitchen practices. From knife skills and cleanliness to age-appropriate cooking activities.

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