Little chefs prefer real food to boxed food

little chef getting down and dirty in the kitchen Little chefs prefer real food to boxed foodYou’re on a mission to cut out some of the junk food in your kid’s diet, but let’s be honest, eating an apple is not as tantalizing, as wolfing down a slice or two, or three, of apple strudel.

It can be difficult to sell healthier foods to a 10 year old.

How to get them eating right ?

So are there tips and tricks to getting your little one to “eat right” ?

Well first thing to remember is – you can’t order your child to eat better. Healthy eating is something that is learned through modelling, not moaning.

But researchers from the University of Alberta think there are ways to fast track modelling, transforming it from a largely passive process, to an active experience.

The secret sauce ….. an apron and some measuring spoons.

Aprons are mandatory

The research team from Alberta surveyed both the cooking and eating habits, of kids living in the Canadian province of Alberta. 3398 learners, all in grade 5, attending 151 schools, gave their input in the study.

The team discovered……… the more the kids peeled potatoes and cut carrots, the more likely they were to actually eat the vegetables. Vegetable preference was about 10 % higher among the little chefs.

Who is in the kitchen ?

So how many Mom’s were indeed actively encouraging their little helpers (or hindrances, a term that might sometimes be a better description of what really happens) in the kitchen.

The vast majority of the kids, felt they were contributing to the family meals. Only 12.4 % of those surveyed indicated they did not step foot in the kitchen to help, EVER.

The contribution of the “little chefs”, ranged from helping once a month, to once or twice a week, to everyday. It was the everyday tribe, that ended up acquiring the better eating habits.

Cooking is a lost art

The survey was not able to drill down into exactly what the kids were doing in the kitchen.

But, it is generally agreed that cooking skills are not what they used to be. Do you have any idea how to shell peas or make custard from scratch ?

Busy schedules and convenience foods, mean that more and more food comes out a box or packet.

Meals are assembled not cooked from scratch.

Eating REAL FOOD is the key to better body chemistry. Good healthy food doesn’t usually come out of a box !

Back to the kitchen

Fortunately a women’s place is no longer in the kitchen – but the kitchen is where many life lessons are learned. It is THE PLACE to learn about healthy eating.

This research suggests it’s time to take the twittering generation, back to the kitchen.

Set aside time to “cook” as a family, so you end up cooking up good health, the benefits of which will last a lifetime.

PS. Concentrate on cooking, not baking. Baked cookies from the kitchen, may be made with fresh ingredients etc., but you still end up wearing them on your hips.

Involvement in home meal preparation is associated with food preference and self-efficacy among Canadian children. Public Health Nutrition (2012) : 1 Yen Li Chu, Anna Farmer, Christina Fung, Stefan Kuhle, Kate E Storey, Paul J Veugelers.

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Further reading

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Stop listening to your eyes they’re not in the hunger loop Sharing a friendship cake in the biotechnology era Does obesity  begin in the bedroom not the kitchen ?

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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  1. By » Blog Archive » Round up 16 July – 20 July on July 20, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    [...] Little chefs prefer real food to boxed food [...]

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