Out of the mouths of babes

Like most kids, my children have an uncanny ability to cut to the chase and make their point. They often weed through a message and summarize with a statement that starts something like, “so basically, what they’re saying is…”

They’re promoters of the KISS method of communication: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

New research released today from the registered dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada show my kids aren’t alone.

The survey of Ontario kids, one of the largest of children’s attitudes and opinions on healthy eating, shows kids have strong opinions and advice for both parents and teachers about healthy eating.

According to a news release from the Dairy Farmers of Canada, the survey shows pre-teens are concerned about nutrition and healthy eating, and not just interested in greasy take-out food and sugary treats.

Another encouraging finding is that pre-teens actually care about what their parents do and say when it comes to healthy eating — they are still interested in guidance and support from their parents (but don’t tell my daughter, because she would deny deny deny).

Highlights of the research include:

– 89 per cent of kids agree their parents are their most important role models for healthy eating.
– 82 per cent of kids want to learn how to cook in school.
– 80 per cent of kids want to know about the benefits of healthy eating and not just what they should not be eating.
– Three out of four children agree that if their parents had healthy food in the house, they would eat it.
– 71 per cent of children describe their eating habits as ‘sort of healthy’, while 21 per cent describe their eating habits as ‘very healthy’. Only eight per cent say their eating habits are ‘not very healthy.’

The registered dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Canada have combined the results of this survey with their more than 35 years of experience as nutrition educators to create a brand new online resource. Parents and teachers can visit http://www.kidsonfood.ca/. Along with a summary of the research, the website includes video clips of advice from the kids in the research, tips for parents and teachers from children, recipes for home and school and free resources and tools.

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