Submitted by Shelly Crack, nutritionist–More than eight families came out in May to cook together as a family. Flo Sheppard, community nutritionist, Shelly Crack, community dietitian along with the Skidegate Health Centre and the Haida Health Centre all worked together to put on a Cooking with Kids event. The focus was to:
o Eat more fruit and vegetables at all meals
o Make fun, easy recipes from scratch
o Find alternatives to instant and packaged foods
o Build a positive relationship with food
Both Flo and Shelly strongly believe in the power of the family meal. Eating together is sitting face to face around food without the television or radio on to enjoy a meal together. Research shows that families who eat together eat better with respect to balanced meals and balanced portions. As an added bonus, family meals also have been shown to reduce a child’s chance of a teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol problems and criminal behaviour. Aim to have a family meal everyday; breakfast, lunch, dinner or even at snack time.
Get kids of all ages into the kitchen to help prepare meals. For example, a 2 year old can scrub vegetables, a 3 year old can pour liquids and cereals, a 4 year old can peel oranges and set the table, a 5 year old can measure ingredients, 6-8 year olds can crack eggs and 8-10 year olds can start using a knife to chop vegetables or fruit. Cooking with kids is messy and often slower, but helps build a positive relationship with food and helps kids eat new foods that they help prepare.
How’aa to the Haida Health Centre and Skidegate Health Centre for supporting the cooking class and a big thanks to Loni Skelton and Anita Turner for donating their home ec rooms.