New research from the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that allowing children to watch those fun kids’ cooking shows actually helps make them healthier eaters.
Let’s face it, we love making yummy foods for kids once in a while that aren’t exactly healthy. (Guilty!) All things in moderation, right? But we’re always on the lookout for healthier foods. We especially like recipes that sneak in veggies as ingredients. Sneaky, sneaky!
Kids’ Cooking Shows Help Them Make Healthier Choices
Here’s the takeaway from the study. “Cooking programs may affect the food choices of children and could be an effective method in combination with other methods to improve their dietary intake.” (source)
Kids from 5 different schools were shown popular kids’ cooking shows. They saw episodes of unhealthy foods being prepared, and episodes where healthy foods were being prepared.
After that, they were offered a snack as a reward for their participation.
They had choices like chips, pretzels, as well as healthier options, like an apple. The kiddos who chose healthier snacks were the ones who viewed episodes of cooking shows where healthy foods were prepared!
In fact, kids were 2.7 times more likely to make a healthy food choice than if they’d watched an episode featuring unhealthy food.
“The likelihood of consuming fruits and vegetables among youth and adults is strongly related to knowing how to prepare most fruits and vegetables. Increased cooking skills among children can positively influence their consumption of fruit and vegetables in a manner that will persist into adulthood,” Dr. Folkvord added.
Cooking Shows That Showcase Kids
So, if you’re looking for great kids’ cooking shows to watch with your kids, here are some we think they’ll love. If you don’t have access to these networks or streaming services, you can find lots of past episodes on YouTube, and on Hulu. (And probably more places as well.)
- Food Network Star Kids
- Chopped Junior
- The Big Family Cooking Showdown
- Kids Baking Championship
- Master Chef Junior
There are plenty of other cooking shows that we love. We hope you search out and enjoy with your kiddos. If there is any chance at all that these researchers are onto something, why not try it? At the very least, it’s can be a blast for the whole family.
Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.