Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 17th 2016 Contents | WELLNESS |
January 17, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
WOW MAGAZINE| 15
By Paola Henderson
CHILDREN TODAY FACE an increasing
number of nutritional problems, including
fragmented eating habits, poor food
choices, obesity, eating disorders, asthma,
acne, allergies, and diabetes, and the list of
ailments can just go on. In my few years in
the nutrition profession, I am forever
amazed at how a society is comfortable to
become so dependent on the medical and
pharmaceutical companies for solutions to
their ailments and not address the cause.
Never before in the history of Man have
children been exposed to such poor diets,
not to mention the overdose of processed
foods. They are everywhere, from the air-
port, to the pharmacy, in schools, at parties
and yes, even at our own hospitals.
The food available to children must match
the messages that they are hearing from
their parents and educational sources, like
schools, who at some point teach about
the food groups, the body and health. Kids
don't get proficient at playing the piano,
solving math problems or scoring a goal at
football without a lot of practice --- the
same is true of good nutrition habits.
Presenting a balanced picture of nutrition
is no easy task in today's society. The
media confuses us daily, either reporting a
new diet or advertisement of a food fran-
chise or food product, leaving us in a daze
as we contemplate what foods to eat.
Most of the foods advertised contain ex-
cess fat, sugar or sodium (or a combina-
tion of the three) and provide little
Reversing this trend of eating behaviours
and habits can have a profound effect on
kids as they become young adults. Children
are in need of balanced, sensible messages
about eating and nutrition. With this said, I
am teaching 2 "Kids Can Kook" classes
starting January 19th and 23rd. These
classes will run for 10 weeks as an ex-
tracurricular and cater for 5--10 year olds.
My goal in teaching nutrition education is
to enlighten and empower kids so they will
grow to be adults who make informed
food choices and avoid the lure of food
fads and nutrition hype.
Why cook with kids?
Exposure to scratch cooking helps kids de-
velop a mature palate and a taste for fresh,
wholesome ingredients. The earlier kids
become accustomed to nutritious foods,
the less likely they will acquire a taste for
Kids are much more likely to eat what they
make. Is there anything more fun than eat-
ing your own art project? Cooking creates
a sense of ownership. When kids help in
the kitchen there are fewer meal-time bat-
tles and more willingness to try new foods.
Meals prepared from scratch usually con-
tain more nutrients and fewer calories,
chemicals and sweeteners than pre-pack-
aged foods and restaurant meals.
Cooking together provides a natural way
to discuss nutrition and the impact that
food choices have on the environment. The
more educated children are about food, the
more likely they will appreciate your sug-
gestions to eat something healthy.
The earlier they learn to cook, the sooner
they will learn an essential life skill. It's hard
to imagine that teaching a three-year-old
how to break an egg could result in a culi-
nary prodigy, but kids often become quite
talented in the kitchen. This makes messy
floors so worth it down the road when
they start to cook for you.
Spending time in the kitchen gives them
confidence. Kids thrive on feeling accom-
plished. Cooking is an ideal way to boost
self-worth and teach responsibility. There
is nothing cuter than watching children
proudly serving their food to others.
Preparing meals together means quality
time as a family. Cooking with children
when they are young offers an opportunity
to communicate with them on a regular
basis. Your time chatting and cooking in
the kitchen together becomes even more
important as they reach the adolescent
and teenager years.
What else do they learn? Science, lan-
guage, counting, fractions, budgeting,
weighing, sequencing, measuring, problem-
solving, sharing, fine motor skills, reading,
and learning about other cultures -- to
name just a few important things!
My mission one day is to make Nutrition
part of our school curriculum; after all we
eat, but to live a life of quality and good
health you must eat good nutrition.
D CA is an extra-curricular activity where kids can learn about health and nu-
trition in a fun, interactive way! This activity is just once a week, and designed with both
kids and parents in mind, and closes with a special session for the parents!
Guided by Health Coach Paola Henderson and assisted by Tots 2 Tweens' Aunty Cyan.
Tues 19th Jan -- Tues 22nd Mar -- 3:00 pm -- 5:00 pm
OR Sat 23rd Jan -- Sat 19th Mar -- 9:00 am-- 11:00am
All materials and ingredients provided. Free copy of Tommy 2 and
10% off the "Growing Healthy Kids" program. firstname.lastname@example.org or 735-7360
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