Cook It, Share It, Live It

Science Chunks

In May, parks and playgrounds are always crowded and kids are running around all over the place. This is great! Jamie Oliver, famous chef who also initiated the worldwide Food Revolution Day, loves to see our youngest ones play and move outdoors. His event takes place on May 15th, following the motto “Cook it, share it, live it.” We think that’s awesome, so we collected a few bits of information on the topic for you…

Overweight rising among children
There’s around 22 million overweight children under 5 years worldwide. Plus, 30 to 45 million school kids are affected by obesity. In the US and Europe, being overweight is most common in children aged 5 to 17. Some reasons behind this are overweight parents, low social status, high birth weight, early puberty, reduced physical activity, poor nutrition (also among babies), as well as psychological factors.

Time for a Food Revolution
Jamie Oliver is just as passionate about dietary education as he is about cooking. His aim is to include basic education about food and nutrition in every curriculum. Over the past few years, approximately 60 countries participated in the Food Revolution Day to set an example for healthy nutrition for children and adolescents.

Bad grades for overweight kids
According to a German study, being obese reduces the chance of obtaining an A or B in math by 10%. Apparently, teachers don’t think that overweight students are capable of doing well in math and give them worse grades. In addition, those children often have low self-esteem, which actually causes them to perform worse.

Feed me better
The “Feed me better” campaign, which is also part of Food Revolution Day, is a special project for Jamie. There’s even a TV program called “Jamie’s School Dinners” aiming to improve the quality of school cafeteria food.

Cooking together
Researchers in the US found that cooking together with children has a positive influence on their attitude towards certain foods (especially fruits and vegetables). Jamie Oliver provides lots of interesting information that incites parents to cook together with their offspring in his family cook book.

First success stories
“By educating children about food in a practical, fun and engaging way, we can provide them with the knowledge and skills they so urgently need to lead healthier, happier lives. We need to make practical food education a compulsory part of every school curriculum across the world, and that’s why I’ve launched a petition calling on all G20 countries to action this. With enough support from millions of people around the world, I truly believe that we can create a movement that’s powerful enough to make governments take action.”
Oliver initiated a petition for healthier food and against forced savings programs in school cafeterias. He collected more than 241,000 signatures in England. As a consequence, the British government allocated an additional budget of 280 million pounds for his campaign.

Siblings and parents as role models
A research team from the University of Harvard found that same-sex siblings have an even higher influence on a child’s eating habits and weight than their parents. Elder siblings can have an exemplary function also when it comes to healthy nutrition habits. A nutrition survey by Nestlé confirmed that fruits and veggies are not exactly on top of the preferred foods of children aged 6 to 13, which can be a challenge for their parents. The good news: When children prepared their meals together with the parents, they were much more likely to eat and actually like healthy foods. If mum and dad make healthy food choices, their kids will imitate them as children learn 95% of their eating habits from their parents (particularly from their mothers).

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