Kids Connecting with Food and Culture in One Atmosphere
Vancouver’s unique and multicultural food scene allows us to taste flavours from all around the world and diversify our palate. In Multicultural Cooking, nutriFoodie campers interact with ingredients, dishes and flavour combinations. This camp allows children to gain a sense of cultural awareness at a young age and encourages them to be open to trying new things, enriches campers’ relationships with food in the future and will leave them with experience in different cultural cuisines and a recipe book to try the recipes at home!
Read on to learn more about what we do at our Vancouver - inspired cooking camp.
Takeaways & Outcome of this cooking camp:
- Campers leave with newfound cooking skills that they can apply at home. We start the week off with a lot of vegetable chopping so that the campers learn and practice safe knife handling techniques and general kitchen safety.
- Campers explore what multicultural cooking means and the benefits of learning about cultural foods. As the week goes on, campers learn how to maximize their cooking skills by tasting and adjusting recipes; I call this intuitive cooking. Tasting and adjusting is a great way for the campers to use their senses and take ownership over the recipes and learn how to create their own recipes with more practice. (This is always pretty impressive; most adults I know don't even know how to do this!)
- Campers also learned how to improvise and think of sustainability as we always use leftover ingredients to foster reduced food waste and practice culinary creativity. For example, we've made iced teas, or turned extra shredded veggies into fritters, and even created a whole new pasta dish with leftover sauce.
- Campers take turns doing different tasks in the kitchen including chopping, cooking, and baking so everyone has the opportunity to build their skills and try something new. Multicultural Cooking Camp is all about experiencing new textures and flavours.
- The campers finish each day by reflecting about the day and documenting it in their journal. Campers and Camp Leaders debrief about the highs and lows of the day to make the next day even better. By the end of the week, campers become comfortable working with different ingredients in a safe and fun way!
Regardless of which cultures we explore in the different camps or which skills are practiced, every camper gets the opportunity to learn about international cuisines and explore the diverse ingredients that come with it. It’s important for children to be able to explore foods through taste and textures so they can develop healthy and positive eating habits as they get older. In our nutriFoodie kitchen, there's no such thing as "kid foods" - it's just Good, Honest, Delicious, and Nurturing Foods.
A day in the life of nutriFoodie's cooking camps:
Day 2 of multicultural cooking was Italian themed. Who doesn’t love pizza? The kids learned to make dough from scratch and worked together to chop up all of the topping for their delicious pies, including learning how to chiffonade basil!
Day 4: Greek cuisine, yum! The campers worked together to make made chicken skewers, tzatziki sauce, and a Greek salad. Since raw chicken was being used, it was especially important to be diligent in hand-washing to make sure that there was no cross-contamination.
Meet our awesome Camp Leaders!
Camp Instructor: Mary Cao
Mary is a 3rd year Dietetic Student at UBC who loves learning how to cook different foods, baking, and working with children. Mary is also an avid hiker in the Summer and a snowboarding enthusiast in the Winter.
"I feel pretty lucky to be an instructor at nutriFoodie camps this year. I am super excited to share my love and passion for food and the outdoors with all the campers!"
Camp Instructor: Celine Koppenaal
Celine is a Food, Nutrition and Health student at UBC who is planning to be a dietitian. Her love for cooking and baking, as well as working with children is led her to join nutriFoodie camps. This is Celine's second year working with nutriFoodie!
"I am so grateful to be an instructor with nutriFoodie camps this summer. It was fun and rewarding to be able to share my passion for food, healthy eating, and cooking with the kids."
Meet our Amazing Volunteers!
Melanie is a 2nd year student in Nutritional Sciences, who's excited to be a part of the nutriFoodie team to gain experience and learn new skills in a nutrition related field.
"I am thrilled to be a part of the nutriFoodie team, as we all share the common interest of loving food! I love children and cooking, so I am looking forward to sharing this experience with all of you and our campers. I think that nutriFoodie is giving children a great opportunity to show kids that they are capable of making their own food and that it can be fun. "
Ivy is a 4th year Food, Nutrition, and Health student at UBC who loves being healthy sharing her passion for food and cooking with children.
"nutriFoodie allows me to incorporate different aspects of health such as teaching, cooking, and eating healthy meals! I'm most looking forward to being able to volunteer for an organization that shares the same passion as I do."
Sharon is a 3rd year student studying Food, Nutrition and Health at UBC. She is passionate about community nutrition and food sustainability.
"I believe teaching kids the importance of nutrition and how to cook healthy meals are important skills in building strong communities. nutriFoodie bring this concept to life. It was amazing to watch the children learn and transform throughout the camp."