Cooking Classes Could Support Healthy Diet Habits In ChildrenBy Health News Team • Nov 9th, 2011 • Category: Diet, True Health News
As the general public grows more aware of the issues of nutrition and healthy weight in young Americans, new research suggests that integrating cooking classes into the school curriculum could build healthy attitudes toward eating and food preparation in students.
An experiential school program known as Cooking with Kids devises school lesson plans that integrate subjects such as math and social studies with classes that teach either cooking or food tasting. These courses are created for grades K-1, 2-3 and 4-6. Aside from teaching nutrition with affordable ingredients, this program allows students to practice social skills and cooperation during cooking lessons.
Researchers from Colorado State University evaluated the effects of such courses in 178 fourth graders who took both cooking and tasting classes, just tasting classes or neither class. Overall, students who took these courses reported a better understanding of their school subjects. Furthermore, those who took both cooking and tasting classes were less likely to think of food preparation as a chore in the home, as published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
The study "documents the importance of including cooking in school curriculum as it is a practical mechanism to promote health, social and educational skills to better prepare students for adulthood," said researcher Leslie Cunningham-Sabo, Ph.D, RD.