As Fit Kids February wraps up, NY1 visited a festival Saturday dedicated to getting kids to eat healthy. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
Seven year old Jayden Padilla, 7, and his brother Justin Padilla, 10, spent Saturday morning getting a lesson on the difference between processed and natural foods.
"My favorite healthy foods is broccoli and carrots, says Jayden
"If you eat healthy then you will be able to grow stronger and faster," says Justin.
Their mom Paola says she has to be creative sometimes to get them eating food that are good for them which is why she brought them to the Kids Food Festival in Bryant Park.
"So they can learn other new things besides what I teach them in the house. Because I am pretty sure here they have more knowledge then I do when it comes to healthy cooking, healthy eating. So I want them to experiment and see new stuff here," says Paola.
The event featured samples, demonstrations, and interactive cooking classes which is something chef and restaurant owner Bill Telepan says resonates with kids.
"They might want something like chicken fingers or something but there are way to make it better for you then just going to buy it in a box. It is fun to make a chicken finger and get Ziploc bags and you shake it all up. It can be kind of fun," says Telepan.
Festival organizers say it is important for kids to start developing healthy eating habits at a young age so they can carry these practices for the rest of their lives.
"Kids in particular learn more and better when they are having fun so I hope when families come and engage in the fun, delicious activities at the Kids Food Festival, they are learning how to make balanced food choices. They are learning how to eat in a healthful fashion," says Kids Food Festival Creator Cricket Azima.
And the lessons seem to be resonating with the kids.
"I think it is important to cook so you can know what you want and you can eat what you like. You can try new things. Like I didn't like I didn't like a lot of the things I tried. But since I used it and mixed it with a lot of things I think I started to like it more," says Nicole Polanco, a festival goer.
"At home I normally wouldn't do this but now it really opened me up. Like Jasmine, you are about to be older so now you need to start doing your own stuff," says Jasmine Herrero, another festival goer.
The festival general admission is free and it runs through Sunday.