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Kitchen time is family time

With all the hustle and bustle of the season it¡¯s easy to lose sight of what¡¯s important ¨C spending time with the family. When it¡¯s time to prepare holiday meals or create holiday treats and children want attention we often say ¡°go play in the other room while I get this done and then we can do something together.¡± Instead, make kitchen time a time to do something together.

Being able to say ¡°I helped make the candy cane cookies and cranberry salad¡± or ¡°I set the table¡± allows a child to have ownership in a holiday gathering and helps to build self esteem. Assisting in the kitchen can also help children learn more about food, nutrition and health. It can also help build basic cooking skills and a better understanding of what it takes to get a meal on the table.

Working side by side on a cooking task can lead to some great talks with older children. Focusing on chopping the apples can take the pressure off and make it easier for a child to tell a parent what¡¯s really on their mind.

Assign tasks that are age appropriate. A child as young as three years old may be able to fold napkins while setting the table would be a better job for a five year old. Older children can do more food preparation such as mixing, chopping and measuring.

Don¡¯t let the holiday hassles cause you to miss a great opportunity to enjoy your family and start creating special memories.

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