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Cooking Shows Educate Kids on How to Eat Better

Teaching children how to cook may increase their odds of making healthy eating choices.

Cooking shows for kids

Demonstrating how to cook healthier foods was an effective way to teach kids about nutrition, found a study of 125 children, ages 10–12 years, who watched cooking shows in the classroom. For comparison, one group of the children watched video clips of a program showing how to cook healthier foods while another group watched the same show featuring unhealthy foods. Afterwards the children were offered a snack.

As reported in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, the kids who watched the program on cooking healthy foods were 2.7 times more likely to choose an apple or slices of cucumber as their snack than those who watched the less healthy version of the show—these kids more often chose a handful of chips or salted mini-pretzels.

The investigators pointed out that children are more likely to eat nutrient-rich foods when they help make the meal, but noted that fewer families prepare foods from scratch than did in the past. The study authors suggested that the visual medium of video may be a beneficial addition to school curricula.

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Patricia Ryan, MS

Patricia Ryan, MS, develops educational content for leaders and professionals in the wellness, fitness and older-adult marketplaces. Ryan has conducted market research and authored numerous white papers, survey reports, industry analyses and research reviews along with producing educational webinars. She holds a master’s of science degree in instructional technology aimed at designing professional education. She was IDEA’s first editor in chief and developed the Gold Standard of content for which IDEA is still known.

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