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How home cooking can keep you healthy

Food Story

 

We all know fresh is best when it comes to our diet. However as our lives get busier, time spent in the kitchen is on the decline. With this comes an increased intake of pre-prepared, packaged and convenience foods and the unknowing consumption of a diet high in added sugar, fat and salt. So how do we combat this increasing trend?

 

A recent Roy Morgan Research poll has revealed that a person's cooking skills appear to be linked to their enjoyment of food in general, and suggested that people who like to cook, eat healthier food compared to those who would rather clean the dishes.

 

Credentialled Diabetes Educator and Dietitian, Michelle Tong says 'it's important for children in particular to learn how to cook healthy meals from a young age and establish healthy habits for life'.

 

Cooking and nutrition interventions targeting school aged children have been shown to improve nutrition knowledge, behaviours and build self-confidence. Interventions targeting children can also result in positive flow on effects to the child's family and leads to healthier meals being prepared in the home.   The benefits of home cooked meals, including eating meals together as a family, is associated with higher nutritional quality including an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and a lower consumption in total energy, fat, sugar and sodium. This is compared to meals purchased outside of the home.

 

'Teach the children young in a supportive learning environment and capitalize on their interest in learning' Michelle says. So it seems the old adage 'Knowledge is power' is definitely true when it comes to the younger ones and their skills in the kitchen.

 

Editor's note: Diabetes Queensland is currently recruiting schools to participate in their fun filled, action packed high school cooking program, Need For Feed. This program is available for students in years 7 to 10 in public and private schools across Queensland. For more information call Tegan McIntosh, Health Promotion Officer on 1300 136 588 or email needforfeed@diabetesqld.org.au