Parents keen to involve their children more in food selection and preparation

Posted by Editorial on 20th April 2009

New research reveals two-thirds of Australian parents find it too time consuming and difficult to involve their children in cooking, and may be doing more harm than good keeping their kids out of the kitchen, according to experts in child nutrition. Parents would, however, like to involve their children more in healthy food preparation.

The research, conducted by Newspoll on behalf of Flora, found 44 per cent of Australian parents say their children have no interest in food preparation, and a further one in three parents are not personally interested in cooking. Additionally, one in 4 parents rarely or never involve their children in the grocery shopping, one in 5 parents say their children are rarely or never involved in the selection of products at the supermarket and three in 10 say their children are not involved in the preparation of home cooked meals.

Dietitian Geraldine, who has experience in paediatric nutrition and dietetics, says getting children to make the right healthy eating choices starts in the kitchen at a young age.

“In my clinical experience I have seen enormous benefits from involving kids in the sourcing and preparation of food who then go on to make healthier choices,” said Ms Georgeou. “Australian parents need tools to help them foster healthier eating habits and take action.”

The research discovered that around seven in 10 parents indicated that they would like to spend more time talking to their children about healthy eating and healthy cooking; and know more about the sorts of things they should be explaining to their children in relation to nutrition and healthy food preparation.

As a result, Flora has enlisted twin seven year-old boys Jacob and Caleb as ‘Seedlings’ ambassadors to demonstrate how much fun kids can have in the kitchen with a five-episode video series.

The videos aim to promote a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods, as the study also revealed three-quarters of Australian parents are concerned about the balance of nutrients in their children’s diets, according to Unilever Spreads Marketing Director Markus Rehde.

“Cooking with Seedlings” encourages kids to think about where food comes from. Presented by kids for kids, it’s an engaging tool that aims to get families talking about the better foods to eat,” he said.