Beyond the Food Guide
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can be fun!
Rebecca Noseworthy, a food-based Registered Dietitian located in Newfoundland, Skpyed students at The Element to kick-start the classes Cooking Program. Rebecca led the class through a nutrition seminar that went “beyond the Food Guide”. During the seminar, Rebecca introduced the students to the plate method: an easy-to-use measurement guide that ensures consumers are eating a balanced, hearty meal. According to the method, ½ the plate should be vegetables, ¼ of the plate should be starches and ¼ of the plate should be meat and alternatives.
Rebecca also encouraged the students to get creative with their meals and experiment with many different foods. “Even if it’s a failure, you’ll still learn something,” she said.
The Cooking Program at The Element nurtures this philosophy— students must try what is being cooked for them. They don’t have to like it, but they have to try it. The tone for this philosophy is set on the Odyssey Trip where students must eat what is cooked for them; there aren’t many other options out in the wilderness.
The goal of the Cooking Program is to develop nutritious, delicious and whole foods by cooking from scratch. As an introduction to the program, students started by preparing side dishes to supplement their lunches. This included salads, dips and soups. After participating in a food-handling workshop by Ottawa Public Health and the nutrition seminar with Rebecca, students are now ready to begin cooking full lunches.
In small groups, students will cook hot lunches for The Element community three days a week. Students are responsible for the menu, recipes, grocery list, grocery trip and the preparation of the meal. Student cooking teams organize themselves to accomplish this impressive task, which then benefits the community at large.