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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 Minestrone Soup, muffins, pizza and pasta.  

Get Involved

Making granola bites

Participate in a Program

January 2022 Update: Food Skills for Families in-person programs are curently suspended until February 2022. Updates on programming will follow as the situation progresses.

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.

Find an upcoming program below or contact your local community organization to request a program and to be put on the waitlist. 

Upcoming Programs 

Virtual Sessions are a sixty-minute mini version of the three hour in-person Food Skills for Families programs. Program may be a single session or a series of two or three sessions. 

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. 

Upcoming Virtual Programs 

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 document for more information. 
Host Requirements

Participants: Programs are designed for adults (aged 19+). Individuals aged 13-18 are allowed to participate under certain conditions, see Youth in the Kitchen section below for more information. 

Facilitators: 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.
Expenses: 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

Youth in the Kitchen

Food Skills is currently testing a youth pilot with the goal of developing a new curriculum for youth in the future. In the meantime, youth aged 13-18, are allowed to participate when a parent or legal guardian is also signed up. Hosts can also run programs exclusively for youth provided they meet the BCCDC Youth Guidelines and have a certified Food Skills Facilitator on staff who is able to deliver the program as part of their regular job.

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


There is no cost to register for the training provided an individual meets all the requirements. Organizations are responsible for covering travel and accomidation costs during the training. Once trained the BCCDC will provide materials and cover grocery costs in support of the program. 

Get on the Invite List

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

Completing the Training 

After training facilitators are required to lead their first program within six month to complete the certification. 

Maintaining Certification 

To maintain the certification facilitators are required to lead at least one program every 24 months. 

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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SOURCE: Food Skills for Families ( )
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