Kitchen Play for Kids

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Get your kids in the kitchen. I know, I know they might get in the way but part of teaching little ones a healthy respect for food is teaching them how to cook. Let your toddler measure, mix and pour as much as possible. It'll help prevent the next generation becoming reliant on fast food.

Cooking fun can start early. Why not toss your baby some soft food toys? I like the fabric Pomella from Haba. A smiling caterpillar emerges from a rattling apple. $14.95 It's never too early for veggies. Try the Yellow Label Kids Vegetable Knitted Baby Rattles (Set of 5)-- cauliflower, corn, carrots and radish. $44.99

When there isn't time of space for the little one to cook, toy kitchens are a wonderful way to encourage side-by-side play and a love of food. I've got my daughter's Educo - My Creative Cookery Club set up next to my kitchen. $98 (pictured at top) She feels involved in the activity (getting dinner together), yet isn't in danger of touching hot cooking surfaces or sharp knives.

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All that good food your feeding the kids will pay off. Want to see how much? Check out the Height Predictor from Parenting Magazine to find how tall your child will be as an adult. My daughters are supposed to be 5 5"...we'll see! For now I'm going to feed them lots of nutritious food to make sure they get every inch available.

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