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Toddler Test Kitchen heats up summer cooking for kids

What's for dinner? And how do parents and caregivers come up with healthy choices these days. A food program in Tempe lets younger kids and their parents try out some new and tasty dishes that could jumpstart their breakfast, lunch and dinner.

TEMPE, Ariz - "I like it!" Three words every parent whose ever tried to get their child to eat loves to hear, especially a "picky" eater.

"When you're at the table, and you put something in front of kids, sometimes it's intimidating, sometimes they see it as foreign, or threatening; and they don't want to try it," Yaffi Lvova explained.

So Lvova, a registered dietitian-nutritionist, teamed up with the Halle Heart Museum to create the Toddler Test Kitchen.

A place where kids from age 2 to 6 years old can dig into some new, healthy tastes like "blueberries and strawberries," Scarlet Middleton, 4, said—without all the stress that can be associated trying unfamiliar food.

The totally hands-on cooking class introduces kids and caregivers to a variety of delicious age-appropriate recipes to develop budding taste buds.

"It's really great to get him in the kitchen, and touching the food," Courtney Ruiz said of her son, Jacob. "And he wants to eat it more when he's doing it himself," she added.

"They see the other kids trying the food, so they might not usually do that at home," Rachel Gilbert, who cooked with her daughter Rowin, said recently. "But here, y'know, look, she's chowing down."

The Toddler Test Kitchen is open every Monday and selective Saturdays over the summer dishing up all kinds of fun for pint size chefs.

"If we can pass on a positive, happy relationship with food to our kids; then that's really one of the biggest gifts we can give them," Lvova said.

Space is limited to 12 child/parent pairs for the Toddler Test Kitchen.

Contact the Halle Heart Museum to register.

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