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Kids love to play make-believe and it forms an important part of childhood development. The last thing you want when you are preparing their real meals is for the children to be snapping at your heels, getting in your way and being dangerously close to hot food and other hazards. Why not let them make their own food? ...well, pretend to at least! Give them a few small containers (such as yogurt pots or a muffin tin), a couple of wooden kitchen utensils, and a few dried foods such as pasta, beans, and lentils. They will entertain themselves 'cooking', sorting the foods, putting them in and out of pots and so on, leaving you clear to prepare their proper dinner!
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