Kids in the kitchen - at what age should they cook?

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Studies show the more you get your kids involved in the kitchen. the more likely they are to eat what's on their plates. So at what age can they start helping out?

Executive chef John Paul Hutchins with Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts says children as young as three can be involved.

"If the kids become part of the process, if they're learning these habits early in life, then they're not tearing open a bag for dinner," says Hutchins.

The perfect snack for kids between the ages of three and five? A "plate parfait." Use a few ingredients like honey, yogurt, fruit and granola, and young chefs will have a blast creating their own snack.

For kids between the ages of six and nine, you can introduce simple kitchen tools. It's important, at this age, to let them get messy, and to let them have fun. "As soon as we make it a contest, as soon as they see I'm having fun doing it, not only does it get done very quickly, but they're having a blast," says Hutchins.

One your kids reach ten, you can pretty much go gourmet! "Really consider the kids," advises Hutchins. "Consider their tastes. Ask for their opinion about things."