How to run a Nutrition Education & Cooking Program

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1 How to run a Nutrition Education & Cooking Program The goal of this program was to increase people s awareness and use of healthier foods. This was done through a series of educational and fun interactive sessions with a nutritionist and a chef teaching healthy lifestyle habits. The program targeted people at risk of poor health and was offered free of charge with weekly incentives, as well as finishing each week with a shared meal, prepared in the cooking session. The final week of the program involved taking the group for a guided tour of the local fruit and vegetable markets, with the purpose of increasing their confidence to access the markets and as an opportunity to establish a sustainable food co-op. Resources required: Nutritionist Chef Childcare worker Group room with seating Fully equipped kitchen, preferably with plenty of space for group participation Space for childcare, with appropriate activities Bus to transport group to the markets Office space and access to an internet connected computer and other sources of information to assist with the writing of the program material Weekly budget for purchasing grocery items and the materials required for nutrition demonstration purposes.

2 Promotion: Notice of the program was printed in local school s newsletters and in the Community Centre brochure. A notice was also sent to the local newspapers for inclusion in the community notices section. Local community workers were sent information flyers to assist with promoting the program and recruiting participants. Nutrition Sessions: The program was organised into 5 consecutive sessions of 3 hours, one day per week, with approximately half the time allocated to the nutrition session. The group room was set up in an informal circular arrangement to promote a relaxed atmosphere and assist group discussion. All class handouts were prepared in advance and ready to pass around the group as each topic was raised. Additionally, demonstration resources were on hand. Cooking Sessions: The cooking sessions followed the nutrition sessions each week, occupying the remainder of the time approximately 1 ½ hours. Group participants were encouraged to be involved in some aspect of the food preparation, as directed by the chef. Adequate disposable gloves, chopping boards and knives were laid out each week in readiness. Following the cooking session participants were encouraged to be involved in the kitchen clean-up.

3 The following is an outline of the program, including the weekly topics, participant handouts and cooking topics. The program can be adapted to suit a particular group if required. Week Nutrition Session Handouts Cooking Class 1 Welcome & introductions Ice-breakers Morning tea Program overview Healthy diet & lifestyle quiz Pedometer Information challenge Display folder Program overview Pedometer & diary Introduction Food safety and hygiene for good health Week Nutrition Session Handouts Cooking Class 2 Carbohydrates main function, good sources Food for Health booklet Class notes with seasonal foods

4 looking at bread varieties white/wholemeal/grain looking at breakfast cereals coco-pops/nutrigrain/conrnflakes/weet-bix/oats looking at bowl sizes to demonstrate serving size Fibre looking at fibre in selected foods - chart RDI Proteins main function, good sources RDI and recommended serving sizes legumes, nuts, seeds taste test Fats functions good fats/bad fats RDI and recommended serving sizes looking at milk full cream/trim/lite taste test

5 Week Nutrition Session Handouts Cooking Class 3 Review week 2 Group discussion re: use of cooking Understanding Energy Salt & Health Recommended daily servings of the 5 food groups Reading food labels - looking at cereal boxes, bread, crackers, baked beans, tuna, muesli bars, poor choices - salt - sugar - fat - comparison of low-fat to full-fat products Class notes Laminated Menu planner Healthier ways to cook traditional foods

6 Week Nutrition Session Handouts Cooking Class 4 Review week 3 Practical tips - eating out looking at jars of oil levels in selected foods to demonstrate healthier options - taking a plate (culturally appropriate) - healthy children - snacks Menu planning - sample sheet incl. meals, snacks - dinner planning Class notes The real cost of healthy food well on a budget Easy recipes to make with kids

7 Week Nutrition Session Handouts Cooking Class 5 Review week 4 Physical activity - benefits - tips for increasing Healthy weight loss Eating regular meals (emphasis on risk reduction for diabetes) Repeat healthy diet & lifestyle quiz Evaluation Graduation - group review Pedometer prize to participant with highest number of steps Lunch Market tour announcement Class notes Graduation certificates Invitation to Market Tour lunch to share

8 Week Nutrition Session Handouts Cooking Class 6 Market tour with chef 7 Food co-op to begin

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