Getting your children involved in food preparation may encourage them to make healthier food choices.
According to news sources, a new Statistics Canada survey found that 31.5 percent of young people aged five to 17 are overweight or obese. These are troubling statistics, as childhood obesity has been linked to the development of diseases once only seen in adults, including type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and high blood pressure.
A possible solution
Although the issue of childhood obesity is complicated, recent research from the University of Alberta has revealed some interesting (and hopeful) findings. According to a province-wide survey of grade 5 students in 151 schools, children who helped out in the kitchen had a 10 percent higher preference for vegetables, and were more confident about the importance of making healthy food choices. According to lead study author Yen Li Chu, “These data show that encouraging kids to get involved in meal preparation could be an effective health promotion strategy for schools and parents.”
Chu also noted that there is great opportunity for schools to get involved, with activities such as healthy cooking classes and cooking clubs.
Getting your child involved
If you’d like to get your child more involved in and excited about meal preparation, the following tips may help:
Taking it to the classroom
Many schools and teachers across the country are taking matters into their own hands to promote healthy eating among their students. To learn about these ground-breaking food revolution initiatives and to find out how you can create a successful food program in your child’s school, read “A food revolution in schools.”