Get cooking with the kids over Easter…

Get cooking with the kids over Easter…

I was recently asked by a journalist, “If you could only recommend one thing to improve your health today, what would it be and why?” My response? Learn to cook for a heart healthy diet.

Despite our obsession with TV cookery shows, it seems less and less of us are choosing to cook from scratch. One survey found 1 in 8 people avoid cooking from scratch. According to another, 1 in 4 of us can only cook three meals from scratch. A couple of reasons given for this were not knowing how to cook and lacking the confidence in preparing home cooked meals.

But you’re never too old, or too young, to get cooking. The benefits are numerous. Not only can you create more delicious, nutritious foods, packed full of heart healthy ingredients, but there’s also the social aspects. Eating a home cooked family meal together is good for the mind, body and spirit. It gives the entire family time to talk about their day and has been linked with children doing better at school, less obesity and a lower incidence of certain mental health issues among adolescents.

Getting children to cook from an early age is such a valuable life lesson as it:

  • Gives children an appreciation about food and nutrition and helps establish lifelong healthy eating habits
  • Teaches them about food safety, as well as building maths, science, literacy and fine motor skills
  • Builds their confidence in the kitchen, making them more likely to experiment with different foods and recipes
  • Builds relationships, as it fosters cooperation

One of the best ways to teach children is to get them into the kitchen to prepare healthy meals together. I had great fun working with a friend’s daughter on creating an Easter recipe. I wanted to make chocolate nests, but traditional recipes seemed to have considerable amounts of saturated fat and sugar. We had lots of discussions on what alternative ingredients could be used to make these healthier and the result is here. So this Easter holiday, whether you’ve got the grandchildren or children, have fun making these together and enjoy.

 

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