Here is a follow-up example of making food fun through involvement. In my post, about clever ideas/tips for preventing a picky eater or for getting your picky eater to expand their palate, I gave my #1 tip as making food fun through involvement.
I started the following with my son at 22 months of age: To help entice my son to eat spinach, I do #10, from my list of tips, which is to wash the fruit/veggies. I also get them to feel the texture, smell, talk about the color (basically using all sensory senses): I tell my son to get a yellow colander. He knows the cabinet where they are located. I hand him the bag of spinach and ask him to put all the spinach in the colander using “his” kitchen table. This is a lot of fun for him, and this project keeps him busy long enough for me to start preparing our meat and starch for dinner.
He helps me wash and pat the spinach dry. Then as I am cooking the spinach, every now and then, I will pick him up to see the spinach cooking. *Holding him far away still from the stove, heat, and pan. As he is looking, I point out the spinach that he “prepared”. Children love to say “mine”, don’t they. Well, I make it a big deal to say “your spinach”. He gets really excited about this. When we are done cooking, my son eats a plate full of spinach that has been cooked with an abundance of garlic. More garlic than most adults would even eat.