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Kids love to cook and, given the chance, they 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.
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. So, grab the kids and make home cooking meals a new tradition.
Cooking with Kids: The Many Benefits