Most kids clamber to help in the kitchen, so take them up on the offer. A tiny chef hat and apron will help any toddler play the part. Then, turn over a few ingredients to your diminutive assistant for some hands-on creation. Sandwiches are a good place to start and it's fun to pile on the layers. Or, have your child master the art of buttering toast (top it with a little cinnamon sugar for fun). He or she can work up to hand-mixing ingredients for muffins or quick breads. Other muscle-building kitchen activities include shucking corn or snapping green beans. The best part is that the more your child cooks, the more likely he is to try new fare. Plus, cooking up a batch of healthy foods offers a far better lesson than simply buzzing through the drive-thru.
Of course, having your child help in the kitchen can involve playtime, too. Very young children like to get their hands wet "washing" plastic cups or playing with bubbles in the sink. Add a measuring cup to the mix and you can work in an elementary math lesson, too.