A New Home Economics to Fight Obesity

Students learn from an early age how to cook healthy meals.

Did you ever take a home ec class in middle or high school? If you did, you may join me in having painful memories of it. I was already an accomplished seamstress (my mother taught me to sew at a very young age) but I was forced to make a simple, ugly white apron. And then there was the mandatory, awful white sauce. My classes were both sexist and patronizing. Many of us have good reasons to cringe and laugh when we think about learning home economics in our awkward teen years.  Lots of schools don’t even offer home ec anymore but recently there’s been talk of revamping the approach to address a growing problem in the United States.

One college professor wrote in a recent New York Times article that home economics classes should be reinstated and used to teach children how to cook healthful meals for themselves and their families early on. With obesity and diabetes on the rise throughout the country, we are all searching for solutions on how to help children and families eat more nutritious food and thus help avoid the many serious illnesses associated with unhealthy diets. I think the college professor is on to something. We know that kids are more likely to eat foods—even vegetables—if they help prepare them.

To do our part, we at HealthiNation have teamed up with Wellness in the Schools, an organization dedicated to inspiring healthy eating, fitness, and environmental awareness in New York City’s public schools. Our latest videos feature Wellness in the School’s executive chef Bill Telepan showing us quick and easy tips for healthy and delicious everyday cooking, including our own favorite breakfast burritos. We hope that these videos give you and your family ideas for nutritious but still fun and easy meals.

What do you think are the best ways to teach children about healthy cooking and eating?

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