March 20, 2014 - Belly button soup, berrylicious pancakes, presto pizza, hummus, and homemade corn tortillas were on today’s menu at Superior High School. Guest chefs, made up of parents and children, teamed up with dietitians during the Fun Family Cook Off to practice their cooking skills and make nutritious foods. This Nutrition Month event, organized by local dietitians, was held to encourage families to cook together so children can gain lifelong skills for healthier lives.
“We know that families who cook and eat together are more likely to eat healthier,” says Karling Zaporzan, public health dietitian. “So it’s important for parents to pass on cooking skills to the next generation. This was a great opportunity for children to learn new skills like how to use a knife safely, measure ingredients and work at the stove.”
Although there is little data on the cooking skills of Canadians, there is evidence that we are spending less time preparing meals from scratch and relying more on prepared meals and convenience foods. For instance, 58% of Canadians reported that they always or very often cook a balanced meal for themselves or their families.
Even though Canadians possess a fairly good knowledge of food, nutrition and health, we don’t always put it into practice. For example, Canadians know that cooking homemade meals can improve diet quality however barriers such as lack of time, energy and ideas negatively impact day-to-day food preparation.
To support families in cooking together, many resources are available and activities are scheduled in March focusing on simple ideas and recipes to make quick and nutritious meals. To get these resources or to talk to a dietitian in Thunder Bay, call the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at 625-5900. For information on events happening locally, check out the Nutrition Month section of the Health Unit website at tbdhu.com