Before I am reported to CPS, let me say, this was highly supervised, after a thorough lecture about knife safety. And they went slow... A little bit about knife safety-use a SHARP knife. It does the job of actually cutting the food and doesn't bounce away, causing injury.
OK, bases covered. Lets talk dinner!
I am a firm believer in food. Its kind of necessary anyhow, so no biggie. I learned the hard way to have a healthy respect for food though and I would like to teach my kids from the start about healthy eating and being physically fit. Enjoying food isn't bad.. I think our society tends to look at "eating" as bad. This is a stereotype, for sure - but the vibe is definitely there. I do think its getting a bit better, more healthy body role models popping up (thank you Jennifer Lawrence, you are my hero.)
I got off on a tangent there. So, food=good. Respect for food=necessary.
Part of having a healthy respect for food is learning how to cook. Preparing food as a family brings everyone together. Put on some good music and you have a really great night ahead of you. And kids are waaay more likely to eat a salad full of veggies that they chopped than a salad that is just placed in front of them. (Although in the desire to keep it real here, I found out after the fact that Eliza didn't eat any of this salad during dinner. Not sure how that slipped by yet..)
Why are we teaching them to chop with knives bigger than their heads? Eliza went to a Montessori preschool and they taught families to use real tools. If your son wants to play hammer and nails, give him a hammer and nails. Its something we have tried to incorporate wherever possible. And it makes sense-we are trying to raise children to live, not to pretend.
So our kids have dinner duty, and dishes duty. Its pretty awesome.. and for the most part, at the ages of 6 & 8, I can safely say that our kids have developed pretty good food acceptance at the dinner table. Of course we serve things they "don't want." But if they want to EAT, then that is what they get. We don't prepare kid meals and adult meals. End of story, moving on.