Cooking in the Community
Being able to plan, pick and prepare food is tied to a healthier diet. Yet, busy lifestyles, the increase in prepackaged, ready-to-serve meals and the lack of food skills being passed down from generation to generation are contributing to the shift from eating home-cooked meals to eating processed and pre-packaged meals. As a result, individuals and families are eating foods that are low in vegetables and fruit and higher in fat, salt and sugar.
One way to help and encourage people to plan and cook meals at home is to give them tools and tips to help improve their food skills. York Region offers support to community organizations and schools who would like to teach food skills to their clients.
York Region offers consultation, training and support based on best practices for organizations interested in starting a cooking program or adapting their current cooking program.
If you or your staff run cooking programs for your organization and would like food skills training or support to teach clients how to prepare and cook simple, enjoyable and affordable meals, please give Nutrition Services a call at 1-877-464-9675 ext.74335. A Registered Dietitian or Nutrition Educator will set up a consultation with you and help you choose the type of cooking program to offer based on your organization’s infrastructure, capacity and resources.
Free train-the-trainer workshops
York Region offers food skills train-the-trainer workshops for groups of 10 to 16 leaders/instructors who lead cooking programs for their clients. Participants will learn basic cooking and safe food handling skills, as well as how to prepare healthy eating recipes that include vegetables and fruit. By the end of the program, participants will have:
- Practiced safe-handling and basic kitchen safety
- Learned new food skills by preparing healthy recipes
- Learned different ways to include vegetables and fruit in meals and snacks
- An understanding of healthy food choices
- An understanding of how to teach and guide others to prepare and cook simple, enjoyable and affordable meals
The following material will be covered:
- Cooking program logistics
- Food safety
- Required equipment
- Selecting recipes
- Menu planning
- Food skill demonstrations and practice
- Cooking recipes
- Enjoying and sharing prepared recipes together
Participants will receive resources to support their cooking program.
To request a consultation or train-the-trainer workshop, please call 1-877-464-9675 ext. 74335.
York Region offers ongoing consultation, support, tips and resources for running cooking programs in the community.
Note: If your organization has less than 10 staff teaching the cooking program, but you are interested in taking part in the train-the-trainer workshop, give us a call. We may have another training workshop happening that you can attend.
York Region Public Health offers consultation, training and support for teachers and schools interested in including more food skills activities in their lesson plans and/or starting a cooking program at their school.
A Registered Dietitian or Nutrition Educator will set up a consultation with you to help you plan and choose the type of cooking program to offer based on your school’s infrastructure, capacity and resources.
- Infographic: Why cooking matters
- Guiding practices for running a cooking program
- Menu planning tool template
- Children of all ages can help out in the kitchen
- Good Food Campaign – Discover tips and tricks for meal planning, food storage and ways to reduce food waste
- Food Safety at Home – People can get sick from food made at home. To help avoid food borne illness at home, follow four easy steps: clean, separate, cook, chill.