Children cook to teach healthy skills

The MEREDITH Community Center received a grant from VicHealth to teach cooking to children and teens.

The organization was recently entered into the JumpStart! grant program, receiving approximately $22,000 for their upcoming Mini Masterchefs initiative which will aim to entertain and educate young people during school vacations.

Center director Leah Phillips said tutor Jen Jones identified during an art session that the children wanted to take part in a cooking class, and Mini Masterchefs is responding to that request.

“It’s about teaching children, ages 10 to 15, how to prepare healthy foods and how to eat healthy,” Ms Phillips said.

“They will cook healthy meals, take them home, and have learned all the basic kitchen food preparation skills they need.

“There will be eight classes per holiday, then more during the longer summer holidays.”

Ms Phillips said it was important to provide this type of education and entertainment during school holidays, given the remoteness of the city.

“All the parents drive to work in Geelong or Ballarat because we are right in the middle in Meredith. It is therefore essential to have a program that allows children to stay in their own community and learn here.

“It also encourages them to come back to the community center later because they’ve been introduced to it, know what we’re doing here, and they might have ideas for programs,” she said.

The Mini Masterchefs will run for free throughout each school holiday period for the next 12 months. Reservations will open soon.

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