Tips for Preparing Food at School
Tip 1: Food should be inclusive, tasty and nutritious
- Fresh vegetables and fruit
- Other nutritious food and beverages (e.g. hummus, whole grain bread/flour/crackers, cheese, plain yogurt, white milk, beans, etc.)
- Foods that are inclusive and reflective of the faiths and cultures of the students, staff and their families
- Lard, shortening or processed meats such as deli meats or bacon
- Sweet treats (e.g. rice cereal squares, cupcakes, etc.)
- Packaged snacks (e.g. chips, cheese puffs, etc.)
- Foods that are prohibited in your school due to allergies (e.g., nuts)
Be sure to practice safe food handling and adhere to the school’s anaphylaxis policy. Review: Be Food Safe and remember to follow the advice under clean, separate, cook and chill. Safety rules should be reviewed and reinforced with your group. Keeping a first aid kit on hand is a good idea.
Tip 2: Keep it simple
- Teach basic knife and cutting skills by cutting up vegetables and fruit to enjoy
- Choose ingredients that are reasonably priced and easy to find at any grocery store (e.g. (e.g. no specialty, expensive or hard to find ingredients)
- If choosing a recipe, choose one that can be completed within 60 minutes or less
- Use instructions that are clear and easy to follow
- Use basic kitchen equipment (e.g. bowls, measuring spoons, knife)
Tip 3: Serve and enjoy
Allow time for the group to sit down and enjoy the food they have cooked together. Eating together is an important part of good nutrition, and talking about how things taste and what the cooking experience was like, helps to complete the learning experience. It is important not to pressure anyone to try something if they do not want to. Focus on the positive aspects of the experience such learning a new skill or using new ingredients.
Tip 4: Make it even better!
Celebrate vegetables and fruit during their local growing season. These are usually cheaper and have a much fresher flavour than their canned or frozen counterparts. Be creative and experiment with new vegetables and fruit to showcase their unique and delicious tastes.