Healthy eating made simple

A new cooking program is encouraging kids to eat healthier. (Supplied)

Ewen McRae

A new program is aiming to encourage children to shop, cook and eat their way to a healthier life.

The program is a partnership between the Sanitarium Health Food Company, dietitian Themis Chryssidis and Masterchef fan favourite Callum Hann, who have developed a new initiative to help children learn more about healthy eating and cooking for themselves.

A new program encouraging children to learn more about healthy eating and cooking for themselves is coming.

Called ’12 before 12′, the initiative encourages families to empower primary-school-aged children around meal selection and food preparation.

It challenges children to learn 12 essential food skills before they turn 12 years old, with the aim of making healthy eating easier and enjoyable for life.

In helping identify the 12 skills, Mr Chryssidis said they were guided by a mission to simplify healthy eating advice.

“Somewhere along the way, the healthy eating message has got so complex,” he said.

“We’ve become overly focused on looking at food through the lens of nutrients or kilojoules – the micro detail of what we’re eating –that we’ve lost sight of the bigger picture; behaviours that make healthy eating intuitive.

“Food has become over-thought, and it’s not doing us any good.

“12 before 12’s simpler message is: Eat mostly whole plant-based foods, drink mostly water, cook more at home – and for kids, find ways to sprinkle in some fun.”

Grouped into four key areas, the 12 before 12 skills cover the complete food journey from planning meals and choosing nutritious options at the shops, through to the hands-on tools and techniques children need in the kitchen and the social behaviours that make mealtimes a positive experience for the whole family.

To learn more about the 12 skills and download a free copy of the 12 before 12 cookbook visit:

Ewen McRae