UNCLE BEN'S® tackling "kid-less" kitchens, challenging Canadian families to Get Cooking with BEN'S BEGINNERS®


Survey reveals only 12 per cent of adults let children help during meal preparation time

TORONTO, July 20, 2015 /CNW/ - A recent survey commissioned by the makers of UNCLE BEN'S®  demonstrates that while 77 per cent of Canadian families eat home-cooked dinners five or more nights a week, only 12 per cent let their kids help cook these dinners. In contrast, the survey also revealed that 90 per cent of parents actively believe that teaching kids to cook is an important part of helping them live healthier lives.

It was these statistics that inspired the suppertime-staple brand to engage families by getting kids cooking. On July 20, and with the help of Logan Guleff, the winner of U.S. MasterChef Junior Season Two, the makers of UNCLE BEN'S®  is launching  its BEN BEGINNERS® promotion, a campaign designed to teach children age-appropriate skills for the kitchen.

"We learned that it's not that parents don't like or appreciate their children's support in the kitchen," says Kyle Lyons, Marketing Director of Food at Mars Canada Inc. "In fact, 70 per cent of parents told us they actually really enjoy having their kids take part in the cooking process! We decided to put together a campaign that enabled them do that in a fun, interactive and modern way. That's what the BEN'S BEGINNERS® promotion is all about."

Throughout the 12 weeks of the program, Guleff will engage with Canadians weekly via a microsite that showcases tips and tricks for kids in the kitchen, along with recipes that are fun to make, delicious, and good for them.

"We all want our families to eat healthier foods," says Registered Dietitian Cara Rosenbloom. "I was thrilled to learn from the UNCLE BEN'S® survey that nine out of ten Canadian families intentionally do cook with nutrition and whole ingredients in mind. But it can be hard to combine what kids like to eat with what they should be eating, and that's why engaging with a program like the BEN'S BEGINNERS® promotion is a great way to get started."

Families will be asked to submit photos of the dishes they've cooked, based off the promotion recipe challenges which Logan will also talk about making. Three grand prizes are available to be won – winners will be chosen at random at the end of the promotion. Each declared winner will receive a cheque towards purchasing a $10,000 RESP.

"Spending quality time in the kitchen is a fantastic way to bond and have fun with your family on a regular basis," says Rosenbloom. "Once kids get their hands on the food itself, it's a lot easier to get them to eat what's on their plates. In the long run, this is what will help the next generation eat better, and live healthier lives."

Both Guleff and Rosenbloom will be available for media interviews on July 21 and 22. The BEN'S BEGIINERS® promotion cooking tips and recipe challenges can be found at www.GetKidsCooking.ca. Canadian families are encouraged to submit their entries for a chance to win*

For ideas on meals to cook as a family, see recipes attached to this release. Photos are also included. Attached recipes are:

  • Black Bean Burrito Bowl
  • Chicken Fried Rice with a Pineapple Punch!
  • Citrus & Sweet Orange Chicken Treat
  • Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers with Coconut Rice
  • Taco-licious Chicken Skillet with Wholegrain Brown Rice
  • Tasty Thai Chicken & Peanut Butter Rice Bowl

Additional survey data

  • 71 per cent of Canadians feel constrained by time, and unable to cook as adventurously as they'd like because of that
  • Three quarters of Canadians say they're consciously trying to change their family's meals to include more fresh food
  • 52 per cent of Canadians say they'd be prepared to let their child cook a whole meal for the family
  • Half of parents say their children know how to boil an egg
  • 95 per cent of parents think kids should learn to cook at home versus other venues
  • For half of Canadians, eating out is an infrequent treat, as they go out for dinner once a month or less; 60% eat takeout dinner more than once a month
  • 71 per cent of Canadians say that their family eats dinner together on at least five nights each week

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Go to www.facebook.com/unclebenscanada for Official rules, full prize details, odds break out, entry requirements and entry limit. 3 Grand Prizes available to be won (value $ 10,000CAD each).  Closes October 11/ 2015 ( 11.59.59 ET).  Skill testing question required. Open only to legal residents of Canada who are the parent or legal guardian of a minor under the age of majority in his/her province of residence on the closing date.

† Each Grand Prize consists of $10,000.00 CAD awarded as a cheque which may be used towards an RESP.

About the survey

A survey of 800 Canadian parents of children under 18 who cook and/ or coordinate their family's meals was completed online between April 28 and May 6, 2015 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb.

A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.

® Registered Trademarks . © Mars Canada Inc., 2015


Image with caption: "Black Bean Burrito Bowl – recipe courtesy of UNCLE BEN’S® (CNW Group/UNCLE BEN'S® Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150720_C7110_PHOTO_EN_449516.jpg

Image with caption: "Chicken Fried Rice with a Pineapple Punch! – recipe courtesy of UNCLE BEN’S® (CNW Group/UNCLE BEN'S® Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150720_C7110_PHOTO_EN_449519.jpg

Image with caption: "Citrus & Sweet Orange Chicken Treat – recipe courtesy of UNCLE BEN’S® (CNW Group/UNCLE BEN'S® Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150720_C7110_PHOTO_EN_449521.jpg

Image with caption: "Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers with Coconut Rice — recipe courtesy of UNCLE BEN’S® (CNW Group/UNCLE BEN'S® Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150720_C7110_PHOTO_EN_449523.jpg

Image with caption: "Taco-licious Chicken Skillet with Wholegrain Brown Rice – recipe courtesy of UNCLE BEN’S® (CNW Group/UNCLE BEN'S® Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150720_C7110_PHOTO_EN_449525.jpg

Image with caption: "Tasty Thai Chicken & Peanut Butter Rice Bowl – recipe courtesy of UNCLE BEN’S® (CNW Group/UNCLE BEN'S® Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150720_C7110_PHOTO_EN_449527.jpg

Image with caption: "Logan Guleff, the winner of U.S. MasterChef Junior Season Two, is encouraging Canadian families to get cooking with the Ben's Beginners program. (CNW Group/UNCLE BEN'S® Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150720_C7110_PHOTO_EN_449529.jpg

PDF available at: https://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/07/20/20150720_C7110_PDF_EN_449531.pdf

For further information: Bri Bijman, (416) 645-8193, brianna.bijman@fleishman.ca

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