Nestlé with the World Chefs Association celebrates International Chefs Day. On this occasion, Nestlé reconfirms its commitment to improve the quality of life of people around the world and contribute to a healthier future. In recent years, the company has increased its efforts to innovate and reformulate products, in order to reduce the amounts of added sugars, salt and saturated fats and to increase the content of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Recipe-level improvements are accompanied locally by campaigns and initiatives to educate and raise awareness of the importance of balanced nutrition and healthy lifestyles. One such example is the Master Class supported by Chef Ştefan Popescu, which shows the importance of involving children in meal preparation from a young age.
A study by Nestlé Research shows that those children involved in meal preparation had a higher intake of salad (+76%), comparing with children who were not involved. On average, children who contributed to cooking consumed 200 grams of vegetables in accordance with the recommended daily quantities. On the other hand, children who were not involved in the preparation process consumed only 145 grams of vegetables.
In Romania, 1 out of 4 children is overweight or obese and only 40% of Romanians consume vegetables and fruits daily, a habit that should be developed in the family from an early age, family meals being very important to encourage healthy habits.
As part of Nestlé’s Master Class, Chef Ştefan Popescu prepares a healthy, delicious, easy-to-cook recipe with the little ones. To follow all the directions of the chef and to see the advice of a nutritionist and a psychologist, you can enter the website of https://www.nestle.ro/international-chefs-day or the Youtube channel Nestlé Romania.
“Nestlé wants to inspire parents and children every day to make healthy choices and adopt an active and balanced lifestyle, especially from a nutritional point of view. Through our global program, Nestlé for Healthier Kids, we want to help more than 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030. The educational programs to which we are partners complement an ongoing research and development process, through which we want to offer people around the world healthy alternatives for their favorite products, for all stages of their lives”, said Nicoleta Tupiţă, Nutrition Health and Wellness Manager, at Nestlé Romania.
Studies show that involving children in meal preparation is beneficial in every way: children not only get to taste what they have cooked, but also often eat dishes that contain vegetables and fruits that they do not usually want to eat. At the same time, they get used to talking about health, food and healthy ingredients3.
Specialists recommend that we bring children into the kitchen and involve them in meal preparation, because this has a large number of benefits, from learning basic skills, understanding mathematical concepts, to strengthening self-esteem and building healthy habits.
Diana Lupu, psychologist, tells about these benefits for children: “Involving children in meal preparation is a real adventure for the little ones, but also for the parents. Adults often are against this, when it comes to this extremely beneficial activity in developing children’s skills, because they think primarily about the mess with which this activity can end. Leaving aside this aspect, the involvement of children in such an activity comes with a lot of benefits: it strengthens the relationship and communication between parent and child, makes parents flexible, contributes to the development of motor skills of coordination between eyes and hands, cognitive skills (problem solving, finding solutions, patience, following directions) and language development”.
Cooking helps the little ones learn to count, measure quantities, use their hands, use tools, teach them to cultivate their senses and taste, it is a known fact that the little ones are very reticent and demanding when it comes to tasting something new. In the kitchen, under the careful supervision of an adult, they can explore and try things such as using a mixer, oven and knives.
“The recipes we make with the kids must be suitable for their age category, we must offer children a healthy alternative, it is advisable to cook seasonal recipes, in which to use local, affordable ingredients. Ideal is to have a cooking book or recipe that describes each step and allow children to smell and taste the ingredients to be friends with them. Last but not least, involve your children in the cleaning process after you have prepared the meal!”, says Chef Ştefan Popescu, member of the National Association of Chefs and Confectioners of Tourism.
It has been shown that simply watching a cooking show determine children to make healthier choices. We invite you to watch with your kids our Master Class with Chef Ştefan Popescu on https://www.nestle.ro/international-chefs-day , a press release issued by Nestlé informs.