Winter is a great time to initiate, or expand on, a child's role in the family kitchen. Our weekly cooking classes at MCH follow the Montessori principles of empowering young children to be independent and feature hands on developmentally appropriate and fun projects for young children. Each year we compile a cookbook of our child friendly recipes for families to try at home and have their children take the lead in the kitchen. There are several good cookbooks on the market geared toward preschoolers, such as Molly Katzen's Pretend Soup, Honest Pretzels and her newest, Salad People. Habits for healthy eating and participation in family life can never start too early. It's a great way to empower your child to develop fine motor skills, concentration, a sense of order, independence and more. The end results are sweet rewards--you'll be surprised what even picky eaters will try if they have helped to make it themselves.
First Lady Michelle Obama's blog, Let's Move, has a treasure trove of recipes from Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids' "State Dinner" winners over the years. Go there while it's still up...and get cooking.