School may be out of session but learning happens all year around. 

A week ago, registration for the You’re the Chef (YTC) program opened up and will remain open until all slots are filled. 

The food literacy program is a partnership between the Township of Emo and the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU). 

“It’s designed to help develop the skills and confidence necessary for children and youth to prepare healthy and tasty recipes,” said Deborah Degroot, who will be leading the program along with community volunteers and other employees from the NWHU.  

While YTC hasn’t run since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the hiatus has allowed time for organizers to update programming and NWHU dieticians to train staff and community partners to run the program in their schools and communities, said Degroot. 

Running for four days, from July 31 to August 3, parents can register their children for one of two time slots—between 9 to 11 am or 1 to 3 pm. 

Capacity is limited to 12 to 16 children per time slot and the program is offered free of charge. 

The skills learned in the four-day program are essential and applicable for the rest of their life. 

“Each week, participants will learn to make two simple and nutritious recipes,” said Degroot. “After the introduction session, the following three weeks are themed: Bring on Breakfast, Sensational Snacks, and Let’s Do Lunch. They will also participate in learning activities to practice safe food handling and basic kitchen safety, and fun games along the way!”

Parents don’t need to worry about preparing too much in advance as all materials will be provided as part of the program. The only thing kids are encouraged to come with is a clean hat or hair elastic to keep hair pulled back while preparing recipes. 

“YTC helps develop food literacy, which is a crucial life skill for children and youth,” Degroot said. “Food literacy includes food skills, such as planning, preparing, and storing food; understanding our food system and how food grows; and how we interact with food to satisfy our food preferences, cultural traditions, and nutritional needs. Having food literacy supports healthy growth and development and helps us develop a positive and confident relationship with food into adulthood.”

By Elisa Nguyen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 06, 2023 at 10:52

This item reprinted with permission from    The Times    Fort Frances, Ontario
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