Kids Who Cook Make Healthier Food Choices
Kids Who Cook Make Healthier Food Choices

Kids Who Cook Make Healthier Food Choices

2 min read
Written by Kim Bretz

One of the biggest struggles for parents is how to get healthy foods into their children without having a complete dinner meltdown. This seems to be a question for most parents — and the answer may be quite simple. “Getting children involved with meal preparation is associated with higher fruit and vegetable preference and with higher self-efficacy for selecting and eating healthy foods”.

The study was done by the University of Alberta and they looked at 151 schools across the province. They found that nearly one-third of children reported helping with meal preparation at least once a day. Another one-third reported helping with meals one to three times a week. And one-quarter of children helped once a month- the remaining avoided the kitchen completely.

In general, children preferred fruits to veggies, but children who helped with cooking showed a greater preference for both. Vegetable preference was also 10 per cent higher among children who helped cook compared to their non-cooking counterparts.

The study — reported in Public Health Nutrition journal — also showed that kids who helped with meal preparation and cooking were more confident about the importance of making healthier food choices. The lead author Yen Li Chu, a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Public Health says “These data show that encouraging kids to get involved in meal preparation could be an effective health promotion strategy for schools and parents.”

How do you get your kids involved with meal times?