I hosted the first of two “Cooking in the Garden” events on July 27 from 11am to 1pm. A total of 5 families attended with their children, or on their own, and we prepared pineapple rind tea, pineapple and basil salsa, chickpea tuna salad, and oatmeal banana bars. We also enjoyed a fresh herb, bread crisps and feta cheese platter together.
As a dietitian, I shared nutrition information on cooking for your family while saving time, reducing waste, and lowering costs in the kitchen. We exchanged great tips on food storage, cooking techniques, and recipe favourites.
The children who were spanning the elementary school years from Grade 1 to Grade 6, participated in the cooking demo and took charge, which was wonderful to see. One of my participants, a newcomer to Canada from the Ukraine, travelled a long distance to join our event, which was a true compliment and honour.
I overcame challenges by spreading the word about the event early through various social media and personal contacts, as well as by visiting public community hubs and informing them of the event. I kept things simple so children could participate and I accounted for food safety considerations through planning, regularly updating hygiene measures, and providing enough space in my garden for seating.
I am a dietitian and I think the nutrition knowledge sharing is something that comes easy to me, but having some talking points scripted also helps. Making sure people have time to share their stories is also very important because people want to engage rather than just listen to someone provide information to them in a passive manner.
The children were centre stage, and asked many engaging questions which kept the momentum high energy and fun.