Food Skills for Families is a hands-on curriculum that makes healthy eating, grocery shopping and cooking easy, quick and fun.
The curriculum teaches participants how to make healthy meal, snack and beverage choices, and gain confidence in the kitchen.
The core curriculum has six three-hour sessions, hosted in community facilities and taught by trained and certified community facilitators. Sessions include learning components and hands-on cooking.
Session topics include:
- Session 1: Variety for Healthy Eating
- Session 2: Vegetables, Fruits & Whole Grain Foods
- Session 3: Protein Foods & Healthy Fats
- Session 4: Planning Healthy Meals, Snacks and Beverages
- Session 5: Savvy Shopping (Supermarket Tour)
- Session 6: Celebration!
The curriculum has been adapted to meet the needs of five target populations at risk for chronic diseases:
- Active seniors
This curriculum focuses on eating well and staying active for overall great health. It is designed for the needs of older adults and provides an opportunity to meet new friends and reinforces healthy eating habits. Participants will receive the handbook Cooking Connections: Cooking for the Active Senior
| Roasted Root Vegetables (sample recipe)
This curriculum features recipes for traditional foods and offers ideas on how to modify the ingredients and prepare food in different ways while continuing to be healthy. It also introduces foods from many other cultures. Participants will receive the handbook Traditions in the Kitchen: Healthy Aboriginal Cooking for the Home Cook
| Salmon Dip (sample recipe)
This curriculum focuses on creating healthy meals at a low cost, and includes tips on how to modify recipes and cook from scratch. Participants will receive the handbook Food Sense: Healthy Cooking on a Budget
| Banana Muffins (sample recipe)
This curriculum teaches those new to Canada how to cook Canadian favourites and modify various traditional recipes using unfamiliar ingredients. It also includes opportunities to connect with people in their community and share stories of how they are adapting to life in Canada. The sessions also demonstrate how to use a variety of kitchen equipment and utensils and tips on preparing school lunches. Participants will receive the handbook Cooking in Canada: Healthy Cooking for Newcomers
| Minestrone (sample recipe)
This curriculum focuses on healthy ways to cook traditional South Asian recipes and introduces recipes from other cultures. Participants will receive the handbook The South Asian Kitchen: Healthy South Asian Cooking in Canada
. The handbook has been translated into Punjabi using a simple dual-language format, which helps participants get a jumpstart on interpreting recipes as well as food packaging and nutrition labels. | Five Vegetable Curry (sample recipe)
Community organizations who want to host a program must be able to meet the requirements for reaching one or more of the target populations and for kitchen and teaching facilities. Funding is provided to organizations selected as hosts at the beginning of the year. The cost of groceries, participant handbooks and program materials are covered, and telephone and email support are provided. Funding for a Facilitator is available once per year if no staff member is trained. Hosts hoping to run more than one program per year should consider training a staff member as a Food Skills for Families Community Facilitator.
To become a certified Community Facilitator, you must attend a 3.5-day-long Train-the-Trainer program. There is no fee for this training. Applicants must be current employees of one of the program hosts and be able to lead a Food Skills for Families program at least once a year.
Community organizations offer the Food Skills for Families program to participants in many communities throughout BC. If you would like to attend, please register with one of the community organizations offering the program.