Increasing the vegetable intake of Australian children is a daily challenge, but one method has emerged as a winner – kids who help cook a healthy meal, actually eat more of it according to research.
The study, by the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland, showed that children who cooked alongside a parent ate nearly 80 per cent more salad and 27 per cent more chicken compared with children who didn’t take part in the cooking.
Nestlé believes that if it can make healthy cooking fun, it will be one small way to help children establish good habits for the rest of their lives.
Armed with this knowledge, the MAGGI Pop-Up Kitchen will make its Australian debut in the NSW town of Coonamble on August 25. A team of Nestlé nutritionists and culinary experts will give kids hands-on cooking demonstrations and nutrition tips such as how to read food labels as well as the opportunity to not only cook a healthy meal, but to eat it as well.
Nestlé’s Head Nutritionist, Susan Kevork, said only a third of Australian children were eating enough fruit and vegetables and the MAGGI Pop-Up Kitchen was a great way to start tackling the problem.
“Kids take a great deal of pride in learning to cook for themselves; it’s a real rite of passage,” she said.
“But today there is less focus on passing on these skills, which later in life will limit your ability to add more fresh fruit and veg to your meals.”
MAGGI will have two Pop Up Kitchens situated in Coonamble focusing on 12 – 17 year olds girls from the Role Models and Leaders Australia Aboriginal Girls Academy (RMLA). At the end of each session the girls will get to eat the dishes they cooked and hopefully go home and practice on their friends and family.
A film crew will be capturing the week and developing short cooking lessons which will be made available on the internet. Every student will also receive a digital recipe book.