When the dinner bell rings, some kids have to be dragged to the table, while others come running.
And then there are those who were in the kitchen all along, helping mom and dad prepare the family meal.
These kids are more likely to eat a balanced diet, do better in school and have better social skills, according to research from Better Together, a partnership between the B.C. Ministry of Health and B.C. Dairy Foundation.
In a creative effort to encourage multi-generational meal preparation, Better Together is sponsoring a video contest to showcase family meals this summer.
The third annual Hands-on Cook-off contest is an open invitation to create a video of two generations cooking or baking together, and contestants can win cash or grocery store prizes.
"The Hands-on Cook-off contest is the perfect summer activity for B.C. families," said Sydney Massey, one of the creators of Better Together, and director of nutrition education at the B.C. Dairy Association, in a recent release. "This fun, simple contest is our way of reminding B.C. about the benefits to all people of cooking and eating together."
For Burnaby's Sydelle Murphy, it's an opportunity to have some fun with her son Jakob, who has always enjoyed helping his parents in the kitchen.
Last year she and Jakob, now three years old, enlisted her husband Ryan to record a video of them making her dad's well-loved pancake recipe, which can still be seen on the contest website; www.bettertogetherbc.ca.
Their entry won a kids' book and fridge magnets with a message about the importance of healthy nutrition.
"He loves the book, and so it was pretty exciting for him," Murphy said.
Teaching Jakob about proper nutrition is another important part of having him involved in meal prep, she said.
"I know there's research out there that shows if they're involved in the process, then it helps them with the eating part, too," she said. "Because there are kids out there who are picky eaters, - and kids aren't so keen on eating what you put in front of them. But if they have a sense of ownership and if they've partaken in it, then usually you can at least get them to try it."
The contest deadline is Sept. 3. Videos must show two generations cooking together and be no longer than three minutes.
No tech skills are required.
Videos can be shot using any kind of device; even a cell phone camera.
Prizes for first and second place are $1,500 and $1,000 respectively in gift certificates for any of the Overwaitea Food Group stores.
But winners can instead opt for cash amounts of $1,125 and $750, respectively.
A People's Choice Award winner will also be selected based on public votes and will receive a $500 gift certificate to any of the Overwaitea Food Group stores or $375 cash.
First-time entrants will be entered into a draw for one Genesis Titan Silver Starter Kit soda maker, and all participants will be entered into a draw for one Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer.
The contest will be judged by a panel of experts, including cookbook authors, restaurant owners and "foodies."
For full contest details, including where to upload videos, visit www.bettertogetherbc.ca/contest.