Consider these facts about the effects of the current food trends on our children:
- One out of three children in the United States are either overweight or obese.
- One-third of children born after 2000 will likely develop diabetes in their lifetimes.
- The top sources of calories for children aged two to 18 are refined flour desserts (cakes, cookies, donuts, etc.), pizza, and sugar drinks.
- Compared to 40 years ago, our kids consume:
- 31% more calories
- 56% more fats and oils
- 14% more sugars and sweetners
- 15 pound more sugar (per year)
Now, what if I told you that there was a magic bullet. Something that would not only protect your children from the health concerns and unhealthy eating trends mentioned above, but would also build their self-esteem and self-confidence? Something that would allow them to make a meaningful contribution to your family, save you, and them, both time and money (in the long run), and provide you with an opportunity to spend more quality time with your children? Any guesses? Believe it or not, it’s the simple act of teaching your children to cook.
That’s right — cooking with your kids is all it takes! Not only will you enjoy time together in the kitchen creating memories that will last a lifetime, the benefits of being able to prepare delicious meals from fresh, wholesome ingredients will provide your children with a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Just think about it. When they are grown, kids who know how to cook have options not available to those who don’t. They won’t need to turn to commercially prepared, mass-produced food that is nutritionally lacking and loaded with fats, sugars, and preservatives for their nutrition. They won’t be reliant on the very food that experts now know is contributing to the declining health of our children.
Nope. Kids that learn to cook — that is, to turn fresh, wholesome ingredients into healthy meals and snacks — will blossom into young adults who can look after themselves nutritionally . . . today, tomorrow, and for the rest of their lives.
Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Kids in the kitchen? Won’t that just make meal preparation more complicated? Isn’t that just one more thing I need to try to work into our already hectic schedule?” Well, the answer is “yes”, and “no.” While it may be true that, in the beginning, including your kids in meal preparation may require a little extra time, patience, and clean up (especially with the little ones), research confirms that it is well worth the effort.
Invite your kids into the kitchen with you and they will reap all of the benefits already mentioned, and so much more! Take a look. It’s pretty impressive how one basic skill can provide so many valuable benefits.
- improves math, reading, and attention skills
- teaches responsibility
- improves motor skills—both fine and gross
- makes kids more likely to try—and like—new foods
- teaches teamwork and cooperation
- teaches time management and organization skills
- fills kids with a sense of pride and accomplishment
And, when you consider the tens of thousands of dollars your children will save in food costs over a lifetime, combined with the fact that they will be able to pass this valuable lifelong skill on to future generations, I think you’ll agree that teaching your kids to cook is something you can’t afford to neglect.
Granted, it can be difficult to squeeze in extra time to prepare meals together as a family. And that’s where Your Kids: Cooking!™ comes in. Our program uses a multimedia approach to teaching kids to cook so incorporating cooking lessons into your normal meal preparation routine is not only easy, but loads of fun too! Just start slowly, completing one recipe-lesson a week. In just a few short weeks you’ll see that your children are capable of making a real contribution to preparing the family meals. And someday, who knows? Instead of hearing your kids ask, “What’s for dinner?” maybe you’ll hear them announce “Dinner’s ready!”
Make a pledge today to get your kids cooking and give them a gift that truly keeps on giving.
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with but a single step.” Take that first step now. Embark on the wonderful adventure of teaching your children to cook and you, your children—your entire family—will be rewarded with a lifetime of health, happiness, and fond memories of your time together in the kitchen—learning, laughing, and building family traditions.