Whether it is outback apple crumble or bush kangaroo stir fry, the back to basics cooking club and healthy lifestyle program is teaching kids more than just the skills to prepare and cook authentic and healthy Australian meals.
The program is a direct example of how changing nutritional behaviours is also helping children live healthier lives.
What began as a study in nutrition by the University of Newcastle’s Professor Clare Collins at Biraban Public School has now evolved into a successful club that has a long list of children and parents who are excited and waiting to join the program for years to come.
The school’s Indigenous Liaison Officer and father of two, Desmond Barton, has noticed the positive impact that the cooking club is having on his children, who have attended the club for over 18 months.
“Before the club Charlotte would not touch a vegetable, the class has not only taught her the skills to be able to make her own food but it has given her an education in nutrition,” Desmond said.
“With a high population of Aboriginal children attending the school, the club provides a great opportunity for not just the kids to get an education in nutrition and healthy eating but it is also giving the parents and the Aboriginal community an opportunity to get involved and learn about healthy lifestyles.
“You can see the kids start to realise the healthier that the things are that they put in their stomachs, the better their lives will be.”
The presence of the cooking club has meant that the kids are not just engaging with their food choices but they are actively developing healthier food habits and lifestyle choices for the rest of their lives.