Emeril Lagasse's Treats for Tots

updated 07/12/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/12/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Picky eaters? Not when Dad is superchef Emeril Lagasse. "My kids love salmon, lentils, red beans, boiled crawfish and lamb," Lagasse, 46, says of son EJ, 3, and daughter Meril, 18 months. And they're already finding their way around the kitchen. "This morning EJ said, 'I'm going to make you this delicious lunch,'" recalls Lagasse, whose third children's cookbook comes out this fall. "He's already bamming!"

CREAMY DREAMY ORANGE FREEZE

(for kids ages 1 year and older)

2 cups orange juice

1 cup ice cubes

1/3 cup milk

¼ cup honey*

• Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until smooth and frothy, about 45 seconds. Pour into glasses and serve.

Yield: 3 generous cups, about 4 servings.

Tip: Try adding a little pineapple juice or coconut milk to really kick this up a notch!

*Babies under 1 year of age should not have honey.

EMERIL'S MAKE YOURSELF SOME APPLESAUCE

(for kids ages 6 months and older)

6 Rome apples

1 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup sugar (optional)

• Core the apples and cut in half lengthwise. Place the halves flat on the cutting board and cut each one into quarters lengthwise. Place the apple pieces in a medium, heavy saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently with a large wooden or metal spoon.

• Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples become very soft and begin to break apart.

• Remove the pan from the heat and mash the apples with a potato masher until smooth. Spoon the apples into a coarse metal strainer set over a large mixing bowl. Using a heavy metal ladle or spoon, press the apples against the strainer to push out as much apple puree as possible. Discard the peels.

• Transfer the applesauce to the refrigerator until cooled, stirring frequently, about 1½ hours. Once cooled, serve the applesauce or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Yield: 2½ cups, about 6 servings.

A COOL SNACK FROM IRON CHEF CHAMP CAT CORA

When her son Zoran was just 5 months old, Iron Chef America's Cat Cora, 39, was already seasoning his food with ingredients like ginger and roasted garlic. Now, "he loves to be in the kitchen with me," she says. "If I'm using a whisk, I'll give him a whisk."

ZORAN'S ROCKIN' BANANA POPS

(for kids ages 2 and older)

4 small finger bananas or red finger bananas

4 Popsicle sticks

2 cups reduced-fat fruit yogurt

1 cup granola cereal, crushed

• Peel the bananas, push the Popsicle stick into one end and dip them in the yogurt. Roll them in the crushed cereal. Place in an airtight container and freeze until firm.

Yield: 4 servings.

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