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Helping Kids Be Green in the Kitchen

My children are at that age where they love to help me in the kitchen, especially my son. He’s 2 and is acting the part of the natural born chef. So it’s the perfect time to teach them about being green in the kitchen.

Of course, a 2 year old can’t do much cooking. He just watches very intently for anything I can allow him to do.

One of the easiest things to allow a young child to work on is disposing of trash. Both my son and my daughter already understand the difference between the trash and the recycle bin, and when in doubt ask where to put things. My son gets it wrong sometimes, of course, but my daughter is nearly 5 and pretty good at figuring it out.

They also know that food scraps when possible go for compost. They still sometimes throw apple cores or banana peels out, but other times remember to leave them out so we can dispose of them more appropriately.

One of the great things about having my kids help in the kitchen is that it encourages their interest in eating the food I give them. Even just watching the preparation from a safe distance can help. And since I enjoy cooking with a lot of vegetables, they can snack a little as they watch.

Their favorite is helping with salads. My kids get to help make salads. Even a 2 year old can tear lettuce if you don’t mind pieces being either huge or tiny. And they can throw the chopped vegetables into the bowl.

We also don’t buy a lot of processed foods. The occasional macaroni and cheese box, frozen chicken nuggets, things like that, but being at home means I don’t need to use convenience foods very often, so hopefully my kids will have less of a taste for them.

These are some of the things my family does, but I’m curious about what other families do in the kitchen to be more green. Anyone care to share?

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