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- ‘Little Chefs of CKL’ Program Helping Local Children Develop Healthy Cooking Skills -

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) – A cooking skills program is giving its young participants plenty to digest as they learn how to better manoeuvre their way around the kitchen.

Little Chefs of CKL is a new program launched this summer that teaches children between the ages of six and 12 years how to prepare and cook a variety of healthy meals. The children also learn the benefits of eating and using locally-grown food in their cooking creations, either by growing it themselves or purchasing it from local growers.Launched this summer, Little Chefs of CKL was developed locally in partnership with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, Community Care CKL Community Health Centre, Foodland Ontario, and the United churches in Bethany and Little Britain. Two Lindsay businesses – Aprons ‘N More and Reid’s Valu-mart – have donated food and supplies for the program.

(NOTE TO MEDIA: You are invited to learn more about Little Chefs program by attending the following event:

  • WHAT: Little Chefs of CKL Celebration Day
  • WHEN: Thursday, August 14, at 11 am
  • WHERE: Bethany United Church (3 George St. in Bethany)
  • WHY: Children taking part in Little Chefs of CKL will mark their last day in the program by preparing a healthy meal for their families and guests. Interviews and photo opportunities will be available).

Cooking skills classes for children are needed, say the three nutrition experts, who developed the Little Chefs of CKL program.

“Teaching food literacy skills at a young age will benefit children as they get older because they will be able to enjoy healthier eating for life,” says Aisha Malik, a Registered Dietitian with the HKPR District Health Unit. “We often think of literacy skills in school, but literacy in the kitchen is just as important.”

Sharon Woodhouse, a Public Health Food Worker with the HKPR District Health Unit, says food literacy is all about helping children develop the skills, understanding and confidence to make healthy and tasty meals for themselves, and eventually their own families. “Food literacy can include food shopping, understanding nutrition labels, following recipes, budgeting, planning menus and cooking healthy meals,” she notes.

“Nowadays, food literacy skills are becoming a lost art,” adds Ashleigh Callan, a Registered Dietitian with the Community Care CKL Community Health Centre. “Food skills are no longer taught in schools, and fewer families are cooking at home due to busy schedules and the availability of processed convenience foods that are often unhealthy. Through programs like the Little Chefs of CKL program, we have an opportunity to begin to teach and influence a new generation on the importance of healthy eating.”

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For media inquiries, contact:

Aisha Malik, Registered Dietitian, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, ext. 2300,

or Ashleigh Callan, Registered Dietitian, Community Care CKL Community Health Centre, (705) 869-4100, ext. 107,

or Sharon Woodhouse, Public Health Food Worker, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569, ext. 2225.

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«January 2019»