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The results of a recent survey published by the German Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) show just how many children and young people are interested in cooking and healthy eating. It refutes the commonly held view that, given the choice, most children and teenagers will go for fast food. 82% of the respondees said what they ate most at home was freshly cooked food. 10% eat mostly open sandwiches and only 6% eat ready meals – canned, frozen or chilled.

In September 2012, the survey questioned around 1,000 young people aged between 8 and 18, sorting them by gender, size of the household and the town they lived in and the type of school they went to. Around 70% of the children and teenagers find making their own food “interesting” and 40% find it “cool”. Only 7% said it’s “boring”. More than two thirds said they’d like to have cookery as a school subject. Whether all the respondees have access to cooking facilities at school or whether their schools offer cooking as a subject was beyond the scope of the survey.

Girls tended to list trying new recipes, shopping for ingredients and preparing fruit and vegetables as the things they most enjoy doing. Teenage boys especially enjoyed cooking using electrical gadgets. Younger children – between 8 and 13 – often say the most fun is chopping and slicing ingredients.

The survey also sought to establish what level of cooking skills respondees actually have. Three quarters of the kids and teenagers said they can follow recipes to cook several dishes. More than half (53%) can cook several dishes without any help. Most of these were in the 14- to 18-year age group.

Most of the respondees cook, at least ocasionally, mainly with their families (70%), but sometimes alone (44%) or with friends (26%).

Source:, Heike Kreutz and Harald Seitz

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