Skye & Isaiah's Story
Skye and Isaiah were two of the kids who participated in the Young Cooks program earlier this year, and the 9-year-old twins loved the program. Their mom, Melissa, says “They loved Young Cooks. They keep talking about it, even now 6 months later.”
What Skye and Isaiah loved was that the program was completely hands on. “They didn’t just talk about the recipes in Young Cooks or watch someone else make it. They made the food themselves,” she says.
Now, the twins help out a lot in the kitchen at home. “They say, ‘oh I know how to hold this knife, I learnt this at Young Cooks.’ It is definitely lots of help for me.”
The eight-week program, takes place once a week after school at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre for children aged 6-12. Children learn basic cooking techniques and get a chance to try new foods and recipes.
“When I facilitate the Young Cooks program, it is so hard to know whether a recipe is going to be too challenging for the kids’ taste buds, but sometimes I am totally surprised,” says Melissa Rankin, Food Skills Coordinator for the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre. “For example, Skye absolutely loved the veggie burgers we made. She really raved about them!”
As for Isaiah? His favourite recipe was the black bean brownies.
“We also make sure we have kid-friendly foods as well, things that we know they’ll love,” says Melissa.
But the Young Cooks program is more than just food skills. It also is an opportunity for kids to learn how to work in small team on a common goal. Cooperation is a vital social skill for children in their preteen years. It also helps with the kids’ confidence.
As Skye and Isaiah’s mom says, “Programs like Young Cooks are really important, not only for the food skills, but also for socialization. Bringing kids together, to make friends, have fun, and work together: this is definitely an important program for the community.”