Thursday 20 October was International Chefs Day 2016 and Kiwi kids who participate in Nestlé’s Healthy Active Kids Programme will be swapping the classroom for the kitchen to create art on a plate, with help from some of New Zealand’s leading chefs.
International Chefs Day is a global celebration of culinary arts. The day gives children an opportunity to cook with real chefs while developing new skills including how to prepare healthy food, in a fun and interactive way.
Schools in seven regions from Auckland to Invercargill have partnered with chefs volunteering their time to educate kids on nutrition, health and wellness by turning nutritious recipes into fun edible art.
New Zealand Chefs Association National President, Graham Hawkes says good healthy food can also be fun.
“It is about creating food that is exciting to make, looks great and is good for you, as well as exposing kids to the wonders of the culinary profession and teach them good eating habits they can take home to the whanau,” he says.
The Ministry of Education believes kids learn best through play. It allows them to get creative, enables them to really understand the importance of nutritional food, encourages deeper understanding and allows students to transfer their learning into action.
Among the food that children and chefs will create are “famous landmarks like the Auckland Sky Tower or the Beehive, portraits of themselves and even national flags; there are never-ending exciting opportunities”, says Mr Hawkes.
Results from the 2015 New Zealand Health Survey completed by the Ministry of Health have revealed that in 11% of Kiwi kids are obese, and a further 22% of New Zealand kids are overweight.
Veronique Cremades-Mathis, Head of Nestlé NZ says good nutrition is a crucial part of growing childrens’ healthy development.
“Learning to cook is one of the fundamental skills needed to eat well. Supporting International Chefs Day is an opportunity for the children who join our Healthy Active Kids Programme to participate in a free interactive cooking workshop that gets them thinking about food, portion, choices and even a career.”She says.
This is the second year New Zealand Chefs Association has teamed with Nestlé to involve more young people in International Chefs day.
A comprehensive toolkit has been developed to enable schools to hold special events on International Chefs Day; schools are welcome to contact the New Zealand Chefs Association to participate.
Some pictures of the event below: