Topics:  children, cooking, education, food, home economics

Kids in the kitchen may become a thing of the past

Warwick home economics teacher Donna Williams with Georgia Butler, Jordan Wilson and Brad Phillips.
Warwick home economics teacher Donna Williams with Georgia Butler, Jordan Wilson and Brad Phillips. Kerri Burns-Taylor

THE days of sticky little fingers in the cake mix, flour-covered counters and burnt biscuits are becoming a distant memory as more children shun the kitchen.

Busy modern lifestyles are the likely cause behind a decline in the number of kids who know their way around an egg beater.

Former home economics teacher Nerelle Goodwin said students loved cooking when given the chance but some had never washed or wiped up or didn't know a cake could be made without a packet mix.

"From my experience, most of the students I worked with enjoyed being in the kitchen and enjoyed experimenting," she said.

"For some it is a novelty because they don't get to do it at home."

Mrs Goodwin said it was hard for busy parents to find the time to involve their kids in food preparation, as it was easier to do it themselves.

"It would be good if they could involve them because they have to know that if you come across hard times, you can't always go out and buy prepared foods," she said.

Warwick Hospital dietician Paul Jones said families should limit the amount of takeaway they consume, as it could alter children's perceptions of food.

"I saw something that said about 30-40% of food dollars are spent outside the home, which is a significant amount," he said.

"It can certainly make the foods at home less appealing if you are eating a lot of salty, sugary or fatty foods."

Mr Jones also urged parents to set a good example and made it clear to their children that they enjoyed nutritious home-cooked meals.

"Get the kids involved in the cooking, give them some choices, ask them which vegetables they would like."

Warwick State High School home economics teacher Donna Williams said teenagers loved cooking and gained a sense of pride from preparing a dish.



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