Project CHEF leads kids to good food

by | Nov 29, 2013 | News

Mario Belan
Health Reporter

A new initiative called Project CHEF in British Columbia is allowing kids to make their own healthy snacks.

Project CHEF (Cook Healthy Edible Food) is an experimental school program that allows kids from kindergarten to Gr. 7 learn about the foods they eat. The program teaches them where food comes from, how it tastes and lets kids build their own tasty healthy snacks.

It would be interesting to have a course that can help students create snacks and meals, said Edith Loizou, Humber instructor of food and nutrition management.

“The course would have to be focusing on the general parts of cooking.”

Students will probably be learning how to cook simple things, she said.

The course would help students that live on residence, and for all students in general, said Loizou, allowing them to make basic, healthy meals.

“For the future this would be very good.”

Programs like Project CHEF to help young people make meals are essential, said Leanna Tuba a Humber field placement advisor at Early Childhood Education.

“Students can learn how to cook and in the future teach their children about healthy foods,” she said.

It’s important that kids eat healthy snacks at a young age, said Tracie Sindrey, a dietician at Humber.

“Kids eat five to six times a day,” she said, adding children should have healthy snacks daily.

“When parents hear the word ‘snack,’ they automatically think it’s bad,” she said, while if a child misses a food group during lunch or dinner their snack can be a fruit or vegetable they missed.

Sindrey said it’s easy for parents to make a snack such as a peanut butter sandwich and a piece of fruit on the side. “It’s about planning ahead,” said, adding families should have a discussion to figure out what to get for healthy snacks.

“Don’t raid the kitchen,” advises Sindrey for college students, noting students often end up over-compensating for their hunger. “Grab a snack when you’re hungry.” she said.

“The cafeteria has healthy snacks that are pre-made,” Sindrey said.

“I’ll eat a healthy snack at school and at work,” said Bryan King, 21, a former University of Guelph student.

He said it’s tough to not eat junk food, but if students can replace those with fruits, it’s a better choice.