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Food Skills for Families

Connecting people in the kitchen, teaching hands-on cooking skills and making healthy eating, grocery shopping and cooking easy, quick and fun.

Making dough

The Food Skills for Families program is a ‘hands-on’ skill-building program developed by dietitians and educators. Participants learn how to make healthy meals and how to make healthier snack and beverage choices while gaining confidence in the kitchen. 


There are five unique programs customized to meet the needs of specific groups.  

The five programs are Indigenous, Active Seniors, Punjabi, Newcomers and Food Sense


Programs run over the course of six weeks with one session taking place each week. Sessions are three hours long and are held in a community kitchen. Programs follow the schedule below. 

Healthy eating; Vegetables, fruits & whole grains; Protein & fats; Planning meals snacks & beverages; Shopping tour; Celebration

Peek Inside a Program

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Mixing flour

Food Skills for Families offers six unique in-person cooking programs. 

Food Sense

Healthy Cooking on a Budget

Focuses on creating healthy meals at a low cost. Recipes ask for minimal and readily available ingredients to keep costs low. Each recipe also includes tips on how to do easy modifications at home using ingredients that may already be on hand. 

A sample recipe from Session One in the Food Sense program is Banana Oat Muffins. The recipe asks for mashed bananas as a way to reduce food waste and is used as a healthy sweetener.  

Cooking Connections 

Cooking for the Active Senior

Designed for seniors, this program focuses on eating well and staying active for overall great health.  It is designed to meet the needs of older adults and provides an opportunity to meet new friends and reinforces healthy eating habits. 

This program includes many freezer friendly recipes such as the Banana Oat Muffin. It also includes a number of very versatile recipes like Roasted Root Vegetables which encourage participants to use a variety of ingredients. 

Cooking in Canada 

Healthy Cooking for Newcomers

Designed for those new to Canada, this program teaches participants how to cook a variety of recipes that are considered staples in many Canadian homes. It provides a safe environment for newcomers to ask questions about the Canadian food system and includes discussion around what may be unfamiliar ingredients such as canned or frozen vegetables and fruits. Sessions demonstrate how to use a variety of kitchen equipment and utensils and tips on preparing school lunches.

Participants will practice using the oven to cook a number of recipes including roasted vegetables and muffins. They will also learn how to make a classic Minestrone Soup

Traditions in the Kitchen 

Healthy Indigenous Cooking for the Home Cook

Features a mixture of recipes, many of which include foods traditionally grown in BC including; salmon, berries, wild rice and venison. The program offers ideas on how to modify the ingredients if they are not readily available and tips on how to prepare food in different healthy ways. It also introduces foods from many other cultures.

Participants will learn how to make many recipes including a few dips: in session one participants make Hummus using chick-peas as well as a Salmon Dip using canned salmon. 

The Punjabi Kitchen 

Healthy Punjabi Cooking in Canada

Focuses on healthy ways to cook traditional Punjabi recipes and introduces recipes from other cultures. Participants will receive the participant handbook that has been translated into Punjabi using a simple dual-language format. This helps participants get a jumpstart on interpreting recipes as well as nutrition labels seen on food packaging. 

Participants cook a variety of Punjabi dishes that have been modified to reduce fat, salt and sugar while incorporating additional fruits and vegetables. For example the program includes a recipe for Five Vegetable Curry. A number of common Canadian dishes are also included, such as Ministrone Soup, muffins, pizza and pasta.  

Get Involved

Making granola bites

Participate in a Program

April 2021 Update: Food Skills for Families programs are running at a limited number of organization this spring/summer. Organizations must meet a number of COVID-19 safety related requirements.

Contact your local community organization to request a program and to be put on the waitlist. 

Virtual Sessions are a sixty-minute mini version of the three hour in-person Food Skills for Families programs. 

This program launched in May 2021 and is running at a limited number of partner locations accross BC. Check with your local organization to see if they are hosting a program or check back here for session availabiliy. 

Host a Program

Host an In-Person Program 

If you work for an organization interested in hosting a Food Skills for Families program, please review the Host Requirements.  Requirements include being able to provide a kitchen space suitable to hold the program and the ability to register a group of 12 participants.
Host Requirements

Programs are instructed by certified Community Facilitators who have each attended a 3.5-day Train-the-Trainer program. Organizations are encouraged to have staff certified as Community Facilitators. If your organization does not have a staff member trained there may be local Community Facilitators who can lead a program for you.
Costs associated with running the program are shared between the organization hosting the program and the BCCDC. Cost covered by the BCCDC include groceries and participant handbooks. Full time Food Skills for Families program staff are available to provide support by phone and email.

Returning Organizations:  If your organization has previously hosted a program contact the Food Skills team directly to set up your next program. 

New Organizations: To become a partner organization submit a New Host Application Form to the Food Skills Team.

New Host Application Form

Host a Virtual Session

Food Skills is currently piloting a virtual mini version of the Food Skills for Families program. To learn more and how to qualify review the guidelines below. 

Virtual Session Guidelines 

A checklist of program requirements is below. 

Virtual Session Program Requirements 

Facilitate a Program

Partner organizations are encouraged to train staff to deliver the Food Skills for Families program by sending them to a 3.5-day Train-the-Trainer program.

Applicants are expected to be skilled cooks and experienced in community facilitation. The training teaches facilitators how to lead the Food Skills program through practical hands-on learning. 

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a passion for improving community wellness through food skills development and healthy eating.
  • Be employed by an approved Food Skills partner organization. 
  • Be an experienced facilitator with proven history of leading community programs. 
  • Be able to deliver the program as part of current role. No funding is provided for staff wages. 
  • Able to deliver first program within six months of training.

Ideal candidates may include:   

  • Community Kitchen Facilitator 
  • Food Security Coordinator
  • Community Programmer
  • Community Health Representative
  • Community Nurse or Dietitian
  • Family Support Worker 
  • Life Skills Worker
  • Pre/Post Natal Worker 
  • Settlement Worker

Get on the Invite List

Submit a Facilitator Application Form to be notified about other upcoming training opportunities. 

To complete and maintain the Food Skills for Families Community Facilitator certification individuals are asked to:

  1. Lead their first FSF program within six month of completing the facilitator training program, and
  2. Lead at least one program every 24 months thereafter.
In general, after a facilitator has not lead a program for 24 months they are considered inactive and archived in the system. This means they will no longer receive the Facilitator newsletters, sign-up for webinars or general communication directed to Facilitators. It also means that if they want to run another Food Skills program they may be asked to recertify. Recertification methods are outlined in the document below. 
Facilitator Re-Certification Outline 

Facilitators will be notified prior to the six month and 24 month deadlines. If unsure, connect with the BCCDC Food Skills team to verify if recertification is required.

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