Every parent knows how important it is to teach their kids to eat right and lead healthy lives, but it isn’t always easy. Recently, Weight Watchers launched its first-ever online “Cooking With Kids” video series, which brings to life teachable moments to help kids value fresh and healthy foods to instill good eating habits at an early age.
“When most people think of ‘kid food’ they think of pizza, chicken fingers and French fries, ” said Theresa DiMasi, Editor-in-Chief of WeightWatchers.com. “One of our goals is to show our readers that there is no such thing as ‘kid food.’ We want to introduce kids to wholesome, natural foods.”
With the help of renowned chef Lidia Bastianich and chocolatier Jacques Torres, Weight Watchers has produced a series of videos featuring real kids who go behind-the-scenes to learn the art of selecting fresh foods at the market and preparing them in nutritious, tasty foods. From homemade pasta to roasting cocoa beans for chocolate, kids get hands-on experience and learn the value of healthful eating.
“It’s so important to make sure that kids are getting plenty of calcium, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains,” said DiMasi. “Treats are essential, but in moderation. It’s in our hands to make changes for children and we want to make sure they grow up to be healthy.”
In order to make sure that kids are eating a balanced diet, DiMasi encourages parents to include their kids in the cooking process. If you aren’t already enlisting your children as your sous chefs, use some of DiMasi’s tips for how you can get your kids excited about helping out in the kitchen.
- Give kids simple tasks. “Of course, don’t give kids real knives until they’re much older,” DiMasi said. “Some stores sell plastic knives that are safe for children, but for the most part, save the knife skills for teenagers.” Younger kids can help with simple tasks like mixing, kneading, preparing, decorating and assembling.
- Play with dough. Whenever you’re making a dough, whether it’s cookie dough or pizza dough, let kids play a big part in the process. They can help knead, break the eggs or press dough into a pan.
- Make salads. If you want your kids to be more enthusiastic about eating their vegetables, let them help make the salad. Kids can wash vegetables and help shred lettuce by hand – no knives or sharp instruments required.
- To market, to market: Grocery shopping doesn’t have to a chore. “A lot of kids love going to farmer’s markets to help pick fruits and vegetables,” said DiMasi.