Healthy Eating Habits Start in the KitchenPosted: April 4, 2012 in Healthy Eating by Craig Primack MD FACP
Being a part of a healthy and active family helps to make weight loss in Chandler and Scottsdale fun for the whole group! Whether you’re an adult trying to lose weight and stay healthy or a kid that can’t quite see over the kitchen counter yet, getting the whole gang involved can make it that much more worthwhile. Especially when it comes to children eating right, parents want to make sure they’re inspiring healthy eating habits for their kids as early as possible.
Research shows that children are more likely to eat foods that they have had a hand in preparing, and very often these family meals are more nutritious then take-out options, adding to a decreased risk of obesity—the camaraderie and bonding are added benefits! But in order to help our children understand the value of a healthy lifestyle we have to take them to where it all begins—in the kitchen. Whether you’re three years old or a teenager, helping prepare dinner in any way with your family can help to inspire healthy habits.
Here are some ways your children can help no matter what their age
Set-Up – When it comes to setting up for a recipe, gathering the ingredients is a great task for even the smallest of hands. They can take their time carefully picking out the ingredients and setting up, and you will have easy access to whatever you need when the recipe calls for it.
Measuring – Kids can help measure and pour ingredients for your recipes. Not only is this a math lesson but it’s fun and it will teach your kids that measurement and portion size are an important part of eating healthy.
Washing – Washing your fresh vegetables is an important part of meal preparation and an easy task for your kids to handle. They will be able to spend time hand-washing and rinsing the healthy ingredients that are about to be incorporated into their dinner.
Crushing & Pounding – Kids love hands-on activities—especially if they involve banging utensils around. Have your kids help you flatten chicken breast or use a rolling pin to crush protein-filled nuts.
Serving – If they’re old enough, have your kids help serve the food they prepared with serving utensils or ladles. This experience will help them feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for the healthy meal about to be enjoyed.
These are only a few ways to involve your kids and help them to understand the importance of eating and preparing healthy foods. Each preparation step gives you a chance to also explain to your kids what it is you’re cooking or adding to the recipe so that they can understand the different ingredients that make up a nutritious meal. Kids will be able to quickly visually see and learn about healthy food choices as they help prepare dinner, and in return will enjoy eating otherwise boring vegetables for a change.