By Sulz, Dave on February 25, 2020.
Kids in the kitchen?
It’s encouraged at the Interfaith Chinook Country Kitchen, where youngsters ages nine to 12 are given an opportunity to learn about healthy meal preparation thanks to a program called the Food Explorers Cooking Club.
The program, made possible thanks to funding from Food Banks Canada and The Hershey Company, has proven to be a great success, with another seven-week session scheduled to begin March 6.
In the Food Explorers Cooking Club, children attend free two-hour classes on Friday afternoons to learn to prepare healthy meals and snacks, with an emphasis on food safety, kitchen safety and meal planning. Each class includes nutrition education and cooking, along with games and activities which give participants the skills they need to recreate their healthy eating experiences at home.
Children try new foods, prepare several different recipes and use their new knowledge and skills to prepare a celebratory meal for their family or community.
The funding provided by Food Banks Canada and The Hershey Company assisted Interfaith Food Bank with food and equipment purchases for classes which took place last September and October. The program’s success has encouraged organizers to continue to run future sessions.
While classes are offered free to community members, pre-registration is required and sessions are filling quickly. Organizers encourage those interested to contact the Interfaith Chinook Country Kitchen at 403-320-8138 to register for upcoming classes. The next session will run from March 6 to April 24.
The Food Explorers Cooking Club is one of several programs which operates at the Interfaith Chinook Country Kitchen, located at 1103 3 Ave. N. Opened in 2005, the community kitchen is the result of a unique partnership between Interfaith Food Bank and Family Centre. The community kitchen program provides free cooking sessions designed to teach healthy eating on a limited budget. Free two-hour classes are offered Monday through Friday under the direction of the facility’s Kitchen Co-ordinator.
An early childhood educator provides activities for children while parents cook in the kitchen.
Other community kitchen programs include Big Chef Little Chef, an interactive program which allows preschool-aged children (three to six years) and caregivers to work together to create delicious snacks, while also nurturing fledgling kitchen skills and encouraging a healthy interest in nutrition.
Kids in the Kitchen is a fun, interactive program offering caregivers and children the chance to cook together, while also allowing kids to gain independence in the kitchen, and provides nutrition education and parenting tips for caregivers. It’s for children ages seven to 11 with their caregivers.
In the Young Chefs program, participants ages 11-14 learn to read recipes, gain a greater knowledge of nutrition, use kitchen implements (even barbecues), and create tasty treats – all while having fun with other kids their age.
For more about Interfaith Food Bank and its programs, visit the website at http://www.interfaithfoodbank.ca.