herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Children of parents who cook are 'healthier'

PARENTS who spend time and trouble preparing food in the home may help their children develop healthier eating habits, research has shown.

A study found that the amount of time parents devoted to meal preparation had a direct effect on children's independent food choices.

Children whose parents spent more time in the kitchen wanted to eat food that was less densely packed with calories.

US nutritionist Catherine Shehan, who led the research, said: "Even after controlling for family income and whether or not children had a parent at home full time, we found that children whose parents spend more time cooking make better choices."

The study involved 61 children aged four to six and their parents.

Each family participated in two laboratory visits during which children tasted and rated their liking for a variety of foods.

They were then given unlimited access to the same foods without adult interference.

The parents, meanwhile, completed questionnaires providing information about the home food environment, their children's food preferences and habits, and the family's socio-economic status.

hnews@herald.ie

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