The other day we made fruit salad! Slicing the fruit gave us a chance to practice our knife skills and get to know the qualities of the fruits we are consuming later. I brought out a bowl of fruit and a metal butter knife for everyone. T and SC chose bananas, while W wanted to peel an orange. "Apple!" GH said. We talked about the gentle sawing action that is the most effective and safest when cutting. Our first step was to talk about the different sides of the blade, for even the butter knife has tiny little teeth that help cut through the fruit faster.
When I'm able to include the children in preparing meals it gives them a sense of being able to contribute to the good of the whole. When we are making something like fruit salad we are only doing the cutting and salad making, delaying the gratification of eating the sweet fruit until it is lunch time. This is especially hard for toddlers, as their primary focus in on what they are doing or thinking or being, but by bringing their attention outwards it gives them the chance for thinking of their friends as well.
And the fruit salad was delicious! Everyone remembered which piece the helped out with and seemed so proud by being a part of the process!