12/16/2013 08:15 EST | Updated 02/15/2014 05:59 EST

Teaching kids to cook helps promote healthy living; experts offer how-to tips

TORONTO - Teaching kids to cook increases the chances that they will eat a healthy diet. It's also a life skill they need for adulthood. Some nutritional experts offer tips on cooking lessons for the kids:

Be age appropriate: Tailor the task to your child's age and skill level. Under-fives can hull strawberries, roll meat balls, add toppings to a homemade pizza. Children who a little older can crack eggs, measure ingredients and stir ingredients in a batter.

Follow the recipe: Once children are able, have them read recipes out loud. It helps them learn to follow cooking instructions. It's also an opportunity to explain measurements and cooking terms.

Make a plan: As young chefs build their skills, involve them in meal planning. If they are ready, let them prepare simple dishes on their own, with supervision.

Teen talk: At this point it's important to expand skills beyond food preparation into grocery purchasing. Get them to help draw up grocery lists.