There is tremendous benefit to getting kids into the kitchen and they can start at a much younger age than most parents realize. With a bit of common sense, you can easily give them tasks to help out with meal preparation. Off the top of my head, during tomato season, I would suggest taking the little green tops off of the cherry tomatoes. That would be a great job for the really young. When they get a little older teach them good knife skills, because it is better to learn early and get years of practice with an adult to guide them. Nowadays, there are knives made specially for children that are a bit safer to use.
I have learned that one of the best ways to get kids to eat foods they think they don't like, is to have them either make an entire dish, or help to make a dish using those not so loved ingredients. It amazes me how often a child will eat something they don't like, just because they helped make it. So much can be taught through cooking: math, reading, vocabulary, time management, process organization - what task comes first, what can you save for last etc. In the beginning it might take you a little more time showing them what and how to do things. In the long run, with just a little bit of help, meal preparation can go a lot quicker. Plus it is time spent together.
All this in mind, Elianna from Bay Leaf Kitchen is working on some kid approved recipes (I have included some of the camp recipes the last couple of weeks), that I hope to feature as often as possible. I will try to remember to make a note that it is a kid friendly recipe. Lastly, let them be creative and work on their own recipes. I am always pleasantly surprised with what the kids create here on the farm during their two days of camp. The kids put together some really delicious, creative stuff. So invite the little ones into the kitchen and I doubt you will regret it.