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.