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A Note from our Registered Dietitian.



Issues around getting kids to eat healthy meals are often one of the greatest struggles for parents. It can be difficult to know what to do, and how to do it, without instilling food aversions in your child.

Cook by Colours might just be one of the solutions to this issue! In this innovative cookbook for children, children are taught to cook and enjoy the kitchen with the help of their parents. Research shows that parental food relationships have the most influence on children’s diets as compared to any other factors[1]. Teaching children the necessary skills to prepare and enjoy food is fundamental to creating a healthy relationship between your child and food. Families that cook and eat together tend to have healthy relationships with food, which can reduce the risk of childhood obesity in children. Children are also more likely to try food that they participate in preparing (even though it may be more work for you as a caregiver, trust me, the benefits are worth it!) Parents modeling healthy behaviours such as preparing muffins at home instead of buying from a store are more likely to have children that adopt the same behaviours[2]. Preparing home cooked meals is an eating behaviour that is slowly being lost in the younger generations-fast, convenience foods are affordable and easily accessible, making them a likely choice for someone who doesn’t have the skills or knowledge to prepare the food from scratch. That is why it is so important that you as a caregiver give children the opportunity to explore the kitchen.

Nutrition education may also shape your child’s eating preferences[3], and what better opportunity to teach your child about nutrition than while cooking with them!

Not only will time spent in the kitchen as a family be a fun, healthy way to help your child explore tasty nutritious foods, it can also help increase communication between family members (you know what they say-“The family that eats together, stays together!” or maybe just Dietitians say that?!)

I hope you enjoy spending time with your little ones in the kitchen using Cook by Colours as a tool to not only increase integral knowledge and skills about food preparation, but also to build a strong healthy relationship with your family and the food you are enjoying.

-Sara Langley, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator

 


[1] Birch LL, Davison KK. Family environmental factors influencing the developing behavioral controls of food intake and childhood overweight. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2001 Aug: 48(4):893-907

[2] Savage JS, Orlet Fisher J, Birch LL. Parental influence on eating behavior: conception to adolescence. J Law Med Ethics. 2007; 35:22-34

[3] Ritchie LD, Ho JJ, Allister CA. Intervening in early childhood to prevent obesity: best practices for home and child care settings. Berkeley (CA): Center for Weight and Health, University of Berkeley; 2009