Diet: Cooking shows promote healthier food choices

Diet: Cooking shows promote healthier food choices

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Cooking shows with healthy foods and their effects on children

Many children like to eat a lot of unhealthy foods every day. Cooking shows with healthy foods seem to help children make healthier food choices themselves.

The current study by Tillburg University in the Netherlands found that children prefer healthier foods to eat when they are allowed to watch cooking programs with healthy dishes. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Journal of Nutrition and Behavior".

Healthier food selection through cooking programs?

If children see cooking programs with healthy foods in the years of their growth, this has a positive effect on the selection of their foods. Affected children generally consume healthier foods than children of the same age.

How exactly did the cooking programs work?

When children watch cooking programs with healthy foods, it is associated with a healthier food selection. The results of the study show that children who watch cooking programs are 2.7 times more likely to make healthier food choices compared to children who viewed programs with unhealthy foods.

The investigation included 125 children

The study was conducted on 125 children aged ten to twelve years. The participants were asked to watch a cooking program specially developed for children, after which they were rewarded with a snack for their participation.

Cooking shows with healthy foods led to healthy snack selections

At the end of the study, the researchers found that children who had seen programs with healthy eating were more likely to choose healthy snacks, while participants who had watched programs with unhealthy food options were more likely to choose unhealthy snacks for consumption.

Cooking shows can promote positive changes in nutritional preferences

The results of the study indicate that cooking programs can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children's nutritional preferences, attitudes and behavior, the researchers report.

Schools should better inform about nutrition

Instead of the cooking programs, education about nutrition in schools can also have an important positive impact on children's eating habits, the researchers emphasize.

Visual highlighting of healthy foods

The research also found that visual emphasis on healthy foods on TV shows young children are more likely to crave and satisfy this type of food. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Frans Folkvord, Doeschka Anschütz, Marieke Geurts: Watching TV Cooking Programs: Effects on Actual Food Intake Among Children, in Journal of Nutrition and Behavior (query: 06.01.2020), Journal of Nutrition and Behavior

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