Tags: kids | diet | cook | meals

Kids who Cook Have Better Diets

Friday, 29 June 2012 01:56 PM

What’s the best thing to keep in your kitchen to get your kids to eat a healthier diet?
Answer: An apron.
That’s the key conclusion of a new study that found kids who help cook and prepare family meals are more likely to pass up junk food in favor of healthier fruits and veggies – and actually enjoy them.
The study, by researchers from the University of Alberta, is based on surveys of fifth graders students in 151 Canadian schools about their experiences with cooking and food choices.
About one-third of the children reported helping with meal prep at least once a day. One-third said they helped one to three times a week. A quarter of children helped once a month, and 12.4 percent avoided the kitchen completely.
In general, researchers found kids most likely to help in the kitchen had a greater preference for fruits and veggies, and were much more confident about the importance of making healthier food choices.
“Kids who like fruits and vegetables more tend to eat them more frequently and have better diets," said Yen Li Chu, who led the study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition. “These data show that encouraging kids to get involved in meal preparation could be an effective health promotion strategy for schools and parents."
Chu said the results underscore the value of getting kids involved in home meal prep, but that schools could also take a cue from the study’s findings.
"You can go into schools and have cooking classes and cooking clubs to help them boost their fruit and vegetable intake and make healthier choices," she said.
Although this survey dealt with fifth-grade students, the lessons are equally applicable to older youths, Chu said.

© HealthDay

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Kids who help prepare family meals tend to pass up junk food in favor of healthier fruits, veggies.
Friday, 29 June 2012 01:56 PM
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