HealthDay News — Cooking programs can positively affect healthy food consumption among child viewers, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Frans Folkvord, PhD, from Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and colleagues tested the effects of a cooking program on healthy food decisions (apple or cucumber slices versus chips or pretzels) among 125 children aged 10 to 12 years. Children were shown 10-minute video clips of a cooking program containing healthy foods versus a cooking program containing unhealthy foods or a control program.

The researchers found that children who watched the cooking program with healthy foods had a higher probability of selecting healthy food compared with children who watched the cooking program with unhealthy foods or with the control program. Specifically, for those watching the healthy food video, 41.3 percent of children chose a healthy snack versus 22.7 percent of the children watching the control video and 20 percent in the unhealthy food video group. The difference between food choice did not differ significantly between the unhealthy food condition and the control condition.

“Cooking programs may affect the food choices of children and could be an effective method in combination with other methods to improve their dietary intake,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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