TORONTO – For parents who are having a hard time finding something their picky kids are willing to eat, a Canadian professor suggests that getting your kids involved in meal preparation can help. can be useful.
Jess Haines, professor in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph, says the research shows that children of all ages can benefit from helping the family in the kitchen.
“Our research has found that when children are involved in food preparation, they are more likely to eat prepared food,” Haines said in a press release. “Engaging them will get them excited to try the meal.”
“When kids are labeled ‘picky eaters’, food can often become a source of controversy and battleground for parents trying to maintain power and kids trying to establish independence, but When you work together on a meal, you are on the same side. It dissolves the front lines. It’s not about ‘eating what I made.’ It became “we did this together.”
Haines recently completed a study using the Guelph Family Health Study (GFHS), which found that children who were directly involved in meal preparation and shopping were less likely to fuss when to meal time.
The GFHS is a long-term study of families designed for many years to provide insight into good habits related to healthy eating, physical activity, sleep and device usage time.
Haines adds that it is never too early for a child to help.
“Small hands can do a lot in the kitchen,” she said. “Throughout our research in GFHS, we have found a lot of tasks that young children love to do. They are good at washing vegetables, washing and turning lettuce for salads, washing fruits, stirring dough and kneading. There are so many ways they can help.”
Haines also suggests getting kids involved in lunch prep, and short shopping trips can also be helpful for foodies.