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Family 411: Young kitchen chefs

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Skills practiced early on that could last a lifetime.

Tara Morgan shows the important lessons for children when cooking the family meal in this Family 411 report.

The menu at the Bjornson house.

Twice a year, mom and dad get a little break from the kitchen.

"They help us when we need help most of the time it's just us."

At 11 and 15 years old, Conner and Carter are in charge of dinner for an entire week.

Prep work, for now and later.

"When we grow up, like in college, and we don't have them [to] know how long to do it, when to cook it, when we go off on our own, we know it's not just our wife cooking."

On this night, the boys serve up salad, spaghetti and garlic bread.

"Here's your three choices. What are we using."

Dietitian Jenalee Richner says cooking at home helps children make better food choices.

"If you're cooking healthy at home and they know that every meal should have a vegetable, a fruit, whole grains, that's just their normal about what's on their plate."

Richner says cooking as a family is not just about what's on the menu.

"We live in a society where everything's just rush rush rush, so when they're cooking together, they're spending more time together."

Conner and Carter's mom doesn't stray far from the stove.

Adding a dash of advice when needed.

"Make sure we put them in so they'll be finished and not sitting too long."

As the Bjornson boys develop life skills and their palettes.

"You'll learn a lot more about what your kid likes and what they don't like as you go."

Building confidence in the kitchen one helping at a time.

"Once you get the hang of it, you sort of know when something's done."

When at the grocery story with your children, Richner recommends shopping the periphery and choosing lean meats.

Also, spend a lot of time in the produce section.

She says she doesn't believe any food should be forbidden, like ice cream, as long as it's in moderation.

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