Get kids excited about cooking

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Summer is a busy time. With so much going on each day, it may be difficult for families to spend time together.

Turning meal preparation time into family time is a great way to bond with your children and to encourage healthy eating. Involving your kids in the kitchen will not only teach them new skills that will benefit them now and in the future, it will also give them self-confidence.

“Spending quality time in the kitchen is a fantastic way to bond and have fun with your family on a regular basis,” says Registered Dietitian, Cara Rosenbloom. “Once kids get their hands on the food itself, it’s a lot easier to get them to eat what’s on their plates. In the long run, this is what will help the next generation eat better, and live healthier lives.”

A recent survey conducted by the makers of Uncle Ben’s about the way Canadians are eating, indicated that while 77 per cent of Canadian families eat home-cooked dinners five or more nights a week, only 12 per cent let their kids help cook these dinners. In contrast, the survey also revealed that 90 per cent of parents actively believe that teaching kids to cook is an important part of helping them live healthier lives.

“We all want our families to eat healthier foods,” says Rosenbloom.

“I was thrilled to learn from the Uncle Ben’s survey that 9 out of 10 Canadian families intentionally do cook with nutrition and whole ingredients in mind. But it can be hard to combine what kids like to eat with what they should be eating, and that’s why engaging with a program like the Ben’s Beginners promotion is a great way to get started.”

The Ben’s Beginners program includes instructional videos; prizes and a chance to share photos of the dishes families create. The series of videos (www.GetKidsCooking.ca), featuring the winner of U.S. MasterChef Junior Season Two, Logan Guleff, is designed to teach kids to become beginner home chefs by introducing age-appropriate skills for the kitchen. Mastering some basic cooking skills can steer kids around convenience food options and toward tasty home-cooked meals.

Rosenbloom, who has worked as a dietitian at The Hospital for Sick Children for the past three years, created the featured recipes. She ensured that each contained the right amount of protein from ingredients such as chicken, pork and/or shrimp; the right amount of carbs to sustain energy throughout the day, as well as a variety of vegetables.

After creating meals from the recipe-of-the-week, families are asked to submit photos of the dishes. Each submission entitles them to a shot at winning a cheque towards the purchase of $10,000 RESP.

Visit www.facebook.com/unclebenscanada for official contest rules. Contest closes October 11.

www.getkidscooking.ca


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