On Cooking with Children, Julia Child & Company by Julia Child, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1978
“Influenced, perhaps, by my early experience at a Montessori school, and surely by living in a clan full of carvers, painters, carpenters, and cooks of all ages, I am all for encouraging children to work productively with their hands. They learn to handle and care for equipment with respect. It is good to give them knives, for instance, as early as you dare. A knife is a tool, not a toy. A sharp, clean knife is safer to use than a dull, rusty one- easier too; A four year old will discover that for himself as you teach him to slice a hard-boiled egg neatly and then to fillet a fish. Talk to children as you plan menus. Let their small, sensitive noses sniff the fish as you shop. Work together at the counter and let your children arrange platters. Nothing gives them more pleasure than setting things in rows and rosettes.
The small rituals, like the clean hands and clean apron before setting to work; the precision of gesture, like leveling off a cup full of flour; the charm of improvisation and making something new; the pride of mastery; and the gratification of offering something one has made- these have such value to a child. And where they are so easily to be obtained as in cooking? The patience and good humor demanded of you by cooking with a child are a good investment.
Do taste everything together, at every stage, a serve to children what you eat yourself. Once they have enough teeth to cope with any food, children, with their unjaded palates, are a keen, responsive audience for a enthusiastic cook. And I suspect that those who learn the use of wine early and sensibly will be less tempted to abuse it later on.”