Our Nutritionist’s Perspective – Anna says…
We know that kids cooking will build self-confidence, facilitate creativity, provide sensory experiences and improve math and science skills. The benefits from a nutritional point of view are also huge and impacting.
Getting kiwi kids in the kitchen and learning the skills necessary to prepare healthy and delicious food at an early age is something that will set them up for life. It will result in less reliance on ready made meals, takeaways, processed and packaged foods (typically high fat, high sugar, high salt and low in nutrients) which is a giant positive step in the right direction as far as New Zealanders are concerned.
According to the New Zealand Health Survey 2006/2007 30% of 2-14 year olds are overweight or obese. The health implications of obesity include arthritis, a number of cancers, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, lower bone density and generally an increased mortality rate. Not to mention the detrimental psychological effects including lower self-esteem, issues around depression and decreased attention span at school.
Benefits of Kids Cooking….
Variety: Children become familiar with a greater variety of foods and because they are tasting more things regularly. They will have improved taste receptors compared to their peers and less taste for the wrong types of foods as they move into adulthood. A variety of food also ensures a range of vitamins and minerals.
Balanced Meals: Kids confident in the kitchen will have a greater understanding of how to put healthy balanced meals together and know the difference between food groups, flavours, different preparation methods etc to ensure this happens.
Lower fat: Through the use and experimentation of spices and herbs children will understand flavours and know how to season and improve taste with having to add huge amounts of fat and salt.
Appreciation for meal times: Sitting down together to eat has huge benefits as it allows for eating more slowly with less distractions meaning food is savored, and there less of a risk of overeating. It is also time for thanking the cook and to reflect on everybody’s day=Happy family time.
Your challenge for this week is to pick one new recipe to cook as a family. When next at the supermarket pick an item fruit or vegetable that you haven’t used before and include it in a recipe.
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