Pam Galenkamp: Nicholas, what's the first thing we put in our smoothie.
Nicholas: A banana!
Narrator: Pam Galenkamp starts most mornings by making sure her kids eat a good breakfast…
Pam Galenkamp: You know it's just…it's giving them that opportunity to try things…even things you think, there's no way they're going to like this. Well, you know, they might.
: Want some broccoli?
Narrator: She gets her children to try things by encouraging them to be part of the food-preparation process.The result has been that her preschoolers are much more likely to sample different, and healthier, types of foods…
Pam Galenkamp: My son would not eat anything green.He wouldn't eat tomatoes, but we started making pizzas together and we started putting the tomatoes on the pizza and he realized, you know, I'm going to try this because I made it.
Narrator: Her daughter, Evelyn is still a little young, but her son Nicholas is also encouraged to help out with the cleanup.Pam then carves out a few minutes to put together a specially crafted box lunch—
: …some clementine, raspberry, blueberries…
Narrator: teaming with more healthy treats…
: …some carrots…I did a little cheese-carve for him.
Pam Galenkamp: He gets excited about opening his lunch every day because he doesn't know what's going to be in there and, you know, he gets to try different things.To me that's what it's all about in trying to get him to try healthier foods—it's getting him excited about it.
Narrator: Pam's tot-friendly recipes and lunchbox creations have become the basis for the blog and website she started called, "Cooking for Monkeys".
: Do you have a favorite apple.
Narrator: She also makes regular visits to her son's daycare where the youngsters are given an opportunity to see how some of their favorite meals are prepared. Today they're making applesauce.
Pam Galenkamp: They love to help out in whatever way they can.
Narrator: Proper hygiene is encouraged since touching and tasting is part of the allurer… and a predictable part of the M-O for kids this age...
Pam Galenkamp: I think cooking really can empower a child.Watch this! Take it off.
Kids: Wow! That's magic.
Pam Galenkamp: I think it's great for them to realize and understand, they can feed themselves if they want to.
Narrator: While the apples cook there's time for a quick lesson about the link between soil and sustenance…
: Just take a handful and toss it in there.
Pam Galenkamp: As spring comes we'll be planting things like cherry tomatoes, which are easy things that the kids can come pick and take back to the classroom and have for a snack.How does that look and smell? Doesn't it smell great?
Narrator: At last…the fruits of their labor are ready to be sampled.
Kids: It tastes like pie. It's good. It's soft.
Narrator: Hopefully leaving a lingering taste for helping out in the kitchen…For WebMD, I'm Damon Meharg.