When Parents Do This, Kids Eat Healthier

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When Parents Do This, Kids Eat Healthier
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When Parents Do This, Kids Eat Healthier

Read on to learn more about how cooking at home can make kids eat healthier.

A recent study from Penn State University's Department of Food Science tested the food choices of 60 children ages 4 to 6. Each family would visit the lab, where children were asked to taste foods and then rate them. Then, without adults present, the researchers let the kids eat as much or as little as they wanted of either chicken nuggets and chocolate chip cookies or broccoli and grapes.

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The scientists discovered that the children whose parents said they cooked more at home tended to eat the healthier snacks than the children of the parents who reported not cooking as much.

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The findings suggest that eating home cooked meals could influence kids' choices outside the home.

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Catherine Shehan, the leader of the study explains the repercussions these findings could have: "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. Our food preferences develop early in life, so getting young children to eat nutritious foods can help them stay healthy in the long run."

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Shehan considers the findings encouraging because they suggest just how profound of an impact parents can have on their childrens' eating habits.

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A new study has found one simple way to get kids to make healthier choices: Cook at home.

Turns out, when kids eat more home cooked meals, they tend to make better nutritional choices outside the home too. This encouraging finding doesn't mean you need to start getting gourmet. There are a lot of ways to make kid-friendly food healthier. Try adding broccoli or spinach to homemade chicken nuggets or make fruit roll-ups at home!

Check out the slideshow above to learn why home cooked meals may help kids eat healthier.

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