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SuperChefs Community Volunteer Program ~ Cookery at Quadra Island

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Date Posted: August 15, 2010

The SuperChefs Community Volunteer Program in partnership with UBC Dentistry aims to improve the health and well-being of children worldwide, by giving them the knowledge and skills to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices and instilling lifelong family and community values using food as a means of communicating these objectives.

In order to help realize this goal, SuperChefs Cookery Society has partnered with the UBC Faculty of Dentistry to create a community volunteer clinical program where dental students help run the Cookery and deliver oral health promotion education to children & their families. This partnership will engage UBC dental students in the experiential world of community dentistry, and as such train a future team of health care professionals who understand and are dedicated to promoting overall health to the families they will see on a regular basis in their future practice. The program called the SuperChefs Cookery at Taku on Quadra Island took place Aug 8-11, 2010 on Quadra Island, British Columbia.

Purpose
With the generous support of the Tides Canada Foundation, there were a number of successful outcomes achieved at the Cookery for the three main groups: The children attending the Cookery, the dental students from UBC volunteering at the Cookery, and the counsellors volunteering during the Cookery.

Intended Outcomes:

Children

  • Through farm to table and ocean to table experiences at the Cookery, gain an understanding and appreciation of where food comes from, simple and nutritional ways to prepare this food, experience food preparation in a communal setting and gain an appreciation of sustainable food practices.
  • Develop a sense of responsibility to become role models for SuperChefs’ healthy eating and lifestyle practices at home, in school and within their community
  • Gain a good understanding of nutritious foods, caloric intake and its effect on weight, healthy oral practices and appropriate meals and snacks to prevent dental disease and obesity.

UBC Dental Students

  • To experience involvement in a community health volunteer program involved with prevention of childhood obesity and how it pertains to the dental profession
  • To lead nutrition and oral health program information to the children at the Cookery and engage them in a fun and effective manner
  • Lead the children in physical activities to promote physical activity as an ongoing lifestyle choice and reinforce its benefits.

Counsellor Volunteers

  • To supervise the children attending the Cookery, making sure they act as good role models for the children and encourage them to lead an active healthy lifestyle
  • Provide instruction and supervision in all cooking sessions so children perform cooking tasks in a safe and timely matter
  • To provide inspiration to the children in the Cookery in physical activity, cooking and creative/musical events to further encourage and empower the children to become leaders of community projects of their own.


From the data collected from the surveys it appears the program has had some great successes not only from the children attending the Cookery, but also from the dental students and volunteers as well. It appears all involved in the program are engaged and willing to help with future SuperChefs programs, and this is important as we build up an army of SuperChefs supporters that can instill good healthy living practices in their family household, in their schools and their communities. We definitely have seen success in one of our SuperChefs, as he has lost 30 pounds in one year since he first attended the Cookery at Zajac Ranch. Below is a quote from one of the parents of the children:

"Our daughter has been very fortunate to have participated in the SuperChefs Cookery over the last two years. She enjoyed it so much she asked her teacher if she could do a presentation about the SuperChefs, followed by a hands-on cooking class! She put on her chefs jacket, divided the class up and led them through making a fruit salad and smoothies, followed by eating their "projects". She planned the menu, shopped for the food, and thought about how to ensure everyone was involved. The whole class enjoyed it, and she was able to share some of the messages about healthy eating with her classmates followed by a hands-on experience. Thanks SuperChefs!"

 

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