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Thrifty Foods Expands Young Chefs Program

Mar 23, 2012

(News Release) VICTORIA — Thrifty Foods has expanded its Young Chef program happening in 19 recreation centres across Vancouver Island and throughout the Lower Mainland this summer.

Thrifty Foods president Jim Dores, Acting Mayor of Esquimalt Meagan Brame, and Recreation Oak Bay program services manager Janet Barclay were on hand for the announcement Thursday, March 22, at the grocery chain's Admirals Walk location.

“Thrifty Foods has been proudly supporting local recreation centres for over 20 years,” says Dores. “Now in its fourth year, the Thrifty Foods Young Chef program has been re-designed to include new information and recipes that encourage healthy habits, inspire culinary creativity, and foster positive life-long health and wellness behaviors in pre-teens.”

The Thrifty Foods Young Chef program is a full- or part-time week-long summer camp that teaches kids age 9-12 how to read recipes as well as learn basic cooking tips, nutrition guidelines, and food safety skills. Designed by registered dietitians at Thrifty Foods and the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the expanded program also includes extensive leadership training for facilitators, a 12-month recipe calendar, as well as preteen-specific information on nutrition as well as body, health, and wellness awareness.

“Recreation centres are a natural fit for the Thrifty Foods Young Chef program,” says Barclay. “We offer many activities to help young people become more active, and this program with its excellent training materials and affordable cost provides essential life skills training at an important age in a fun and enjoyable way.”

Each hands-on session is also designed to familiarize young chefs with interesting food choices and delicious taste experiences during the creation of simple, yet tasty, snacks. The program finishes with a store tour where participants learn how to navigate the aisles, read food labels and select fresh produce.

The Thrifty Foods Young Chef camps are available in July and August in Victoria through the following recreation centres: Esquimalt, Recreation Oak Bay, Peninsula/Panorama, Saanich, Sooke, Victoria and West Shore Recreation Centres. Mid- and North-Island, the camps are also offered at Cowichan, Campbell River, Comox Regional, Nanaimo and Nanaimo Regional District recreation centres as well as seven recreation centres on the Lower Mainland.

As part of the program, Thrifty Foods supplies all training materials, cooking ingredients and equipment, and special take-away items such as branded aprons and a recipe calendar. In order to ensure that the program is affordable to all families, Thrifty Foods subsidizes the registrant’s fee at each camp. Fees range from around $25 for the week-long, half-day class to around $50 for the full-time, week-long camp. Registration begins in May and is only available through the recreation centres.

Young Chefs was first launched in 2008 as part of the Thrifty Foods Nutrition For You program. Led by trained registered dietitians, Nutrition For You provided health and lifestyle classes to over 3,600 seniors, adults, and preteens over a four-year period.

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