For the majority of designated family chefs, meal preparation seems like a thankless chore. Too often, nutritious dishes are slaved over only to be rejected by picky eaters in favor of frozen chicken nuggets or microwavable macaroni and cheese. Even when meals are happily received, the prep work and cleanup can become monotonous and tiresome. Fortunately for weary cooks, kids (who would normally be underfoot or turning up their noses at the dinner table) hold the key to making meal preparation more rewarding, enjoyable and even educational.
Many children don't see cooking as a chore. Instead, they delight in using ingredients and child-safe kitchen tools to create a finished product. In fact, cooking can teach or reinforce basic math concepts, enhance reading skills, foster creativity and emphasize the importance of safety [source: Margulis]. Cooking with children also teaches them the fundamentals of nutrition, an important lesson in today's society with rates of childhood obesity on the upswing. HowStuffWorks has put together a list of five safe cooking activities for well-supervised children to enjoy preparing, serving and, of course, eating.