Project CHEF Education Society is a not-for-profit society that offers experiential programs to teach children and families about healthy cooking and eating. Our core program, Project CHEF: Cook Healthy Edible Food, is an award winning curriculum-based school program aimed at children in kindergarten to grade seven. Designed to immerse children in the process of cooking from preparation to clean-up, children gain knowledge about food; they discover the pleasure and satisfaction in creating meals for themselves and they develop the skills so that they can apply their new-found knowledge and abilities in making healthy food choices at home.
Project CHEF was initiated in 2007 and thus far has taught over 14,000 children about healthy food choices and how to prepare the food for themselves. The program has visited over 630 Vancouver elementary classrooms and involved over 850 teachers, 7000 parent and community volunteers.
Why Project CHEF?
dire need to re-educate children and families about life-long healthy eating
children learned about healthy food choices and cooking from family members, and the social and cultural aspects related to food were learned at the table in the context of a family meal.
in our fast-paced lives knowledge and skills are often not being transferred to the younger generation, and there is a gap in children’s understanding of what constitutes real food.
meals consisting of nutritionally lacking, highly processed foods are eaten on the run and rarely around a dinner table, and children’s eating habits and overall health are negatively impacted.
why project chef works
EARLY AGE EDUCATION
Since studies indicate that children’s eating habits are formed by the time they are twelve years old, it is imperative that we educate children and expose them to healthy, whole foods at an early age.
Experiential learning is one of the most powerful ways to learn and studies have shown that children who have had a hands-on opportunity to explore and prepare new and nutritious foods will be more likely to eat healthy foods.
PROVEN COOKING PROGRAMS
Hands-on cooking programs have been proven to influence children and help them develop the skills to encourage healthy eating throughout their lives, improve their diets and prevent obesity.
Project CHEF FOUNDER
chef, Barb Finley
The Project CHEF program was created by teacher and chef, Barb Finley. As an educator (B.Ed., M.Ed.) Barb has taught in Langley & Vancouver School Districts, UBC Faculty of Education, Dubrulle Culinary Institute and the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. Through her work, her mission is to reconnect children with the food they eat and to help children discover the process and pleasure in cooking and sharing food together.
AWARDS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
In 2018 we will be awarded the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal
In 2016 we received the Maple Leaf Foods Feed it Forward Award
We received the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals Community Leadership Award
BC School Superintendents Association Award of Recognition for its leadership and contributions to enhance public education