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Kids love to cook, and that can help them to make better food choices.
I think it’s fair to say that most kids, given the chance, like to spend time playing around in the kitchen. And why not? Cooking is creative, messy and fun, and it tickles all the senses. On top of that, your efforts are rewarded with something that’s (hopefully) delicious to eat. And cooking can deliver some additional benefits as well. Spending time in the kitchen can help kids develop an appreciation for healthy foods, and foster better eating habits, too.
The significance of this really shouldn’t be overlooked. In the last few decades, obesity and overweight rates among American kids have risen dramatically. This is a reflection, in part, on a diet that includes too many calories and nutrient-poor foods, and too little in the way of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich dairy products.
Eating out is a contributing factor. Meals eaten away from home are higher in calories, fat and saturated fat, and they provide less calcium and fiber than home-prepared meals. On the other hand, eating more meals at home is associated with a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, with less fat and calories.
Susan is the Sr. Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife, where she is responsible for the development of nutrition education and training materials, and is one of the primary authors of the Herbalife-sponsored blog, www.discovergoodnutrition.com. She is a Registered Dietitian and holds two Board Certifications from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and a Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management. Susan is also a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Susan graduated with distinction in biology from the University of Colorado, and received her master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Colorado State University. She then completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas. Susan has taught extensively and developed educational programs targeted to individuals, groups and industry in her areas of expertise, including health promotion, weight management and sports nutrition.
Prior to her role at Herbalife, she was the assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, and has held appointments as adjunct professor in nutrition at Pepperdine University and as lecturer in nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Susan was a consultant to the (then) Los Angeles Raiders for six seasons, and was a contributing columnist for the Los Angeles Times Health Section for two years. She is a co-author of 23 research papers, 14 book chapters, and was a co-author of two books for the public: “What Color is Your Diet?” and “The L.A. Shape Diet” by Dr. David Heber, published by Harper Collins in 2001 and 2004, respectively.