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Check out our new BrightBites badge – Fresh It Up! This badge will help you improve the cafeteria experience by creating a pleasant eating environment.

Cook It Up

PREPARING FOOD

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Getting Started

Learning to prepare food helps students build their self-esteem, confidence and sense of achievement, while developing valuable life skills. These are all benefits which will contribute to positive mental health. Earn this badge by giving students (and others) the chance to learn and practice the skills involved in preparing tasty, nutritious foods.

Steps To Earn This Badge

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Step 1 - Ask the Students

Ask students if they help in the kitchen at home and what tasks they help with. Ask them if they would like to learn and practice food preparation skills at school.

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Step 2 - Start a Conversation

Find out if parents, teachers and students would like to increase their knowledge and skills in this area, and if you have a professional chef in your school that would be happy to give you suggestions, do a cooking demo or help run an after school cooking club. See if there is a need for more basic activities (e.g. learning how to use a knife properly) or more advanced skills (e.g. following recipes). Check out the Tools and Helpful Links for ideas!

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Step 3 - Do a Nutrition Checkup

Aim to use a variety of wholesome ingredients in your activities and choose local vegetables and fruit when possible. Use the Tips for Preparing Food at School and Kitchen Safety Tips (see Tools) to help you select food and keep everyone safe.

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Step 4 - Make it Fun

You don’t have to be a professional chef to teach students to prepare food. Just remember that they may have little kitchen experience, so explain things well and offer lots of encouragement. Choose at least one of the following activities/suggestions or come up with your own fun food preparation idea!

Badge Inspiration

  • Start a school cooking club (find out if your local public health unit offers training). See if local grocers will donate food.
  • Invite a local chef to provide cooking demonstrations
  • Train senior students to teach younger students how to wash hands properly and basic knife skills
  • Celebrate a particular fruit or vegetable and prepare a variety of recipes using this fruit or vegetable
  • Have a fruit and vegetable tasting adventure where students can wash and prepare a variety of vegetables and fruit
  • Hold a recipe contest and have students create (or modify) their own recipes using a particular food (e.g. black beans) or theme (e.g. harvest time)
  • Post photos of the meals prepared at home and post on the school’s social media account to provide ideas to others and share their cooking success
  • Hold a taste testing booth at a school event and ask participants to guess the secret ingredient
  • Invite parents to share in a great meal prepared by their kids
  • Ask students to help prepare and serve food for your school’s breakfast or snack program
  • Ask students to help prepare and serve refreshments at a parent-teacher night or another school event