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Watching cooking shows may motivate kids to eat healthy food


Washington: Making a picky kid eat healthy food is a hell of a task. However, to make the task easier, a study suggests making kids watch more healthy cooking shows.

As per a recent report by CNN, the study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shared that children with cooking program watching habit come across healthy foods more often. They were over twice as likely to choose healthy snack as children who watched a cooking show featuring unhealthy foods.

“If you promote healthy foods to children, it can be beneficial to improve their intake,” said Dr Frans Folkvord, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the School of Humanities and Digital Science at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

“For parents, it’s important that they promote healthy foods during day time by different methods, and one of the methods is these cooking programs,” he shared.

While conducting the study, researchers interviewed 125 children of 10 to 12 years old to watch 10 minutes of a Dutch TV show designed for children.

Some watched a clip featuring healthy foods, while others watched a video featuring less healthy, energy-dense foods.


To avoid any confusion around the perception of healthy food these children answered on a 10-point scale how healthy they perceived the foods shown in the cooking program, ranging from zero (very unhealthy) to 10 (very healthy).

The healthy foods clip featured tomatoes, onions, brussels sprouts and other fruits and vegetables. The clip that centred on unhealthy foods showed hamburgers, French fries with mayonnaise and croissants.

The videos depicted contestants from Dutch schools battling each other in the kitchen by cooking dishes themselves, tasting it and having to answer questions about the ingredients they thought were needed to make them.

As a reward for participating in the study, the kids were offered a snack, which they could choose from a set of options.

In the healthy food group, more than 41 per cent of children chose a healthy snack such as an apple or cucumber slices. In an unhealthy condition, 20 per cent of children chose a healthy snack.

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