Food heroes learn healthy eating for International Chefs Day in New Zealand

Oct 25, 2017

October 2017, New Zealand: A group of students became food super heroes at New Plymouth's Frankley School on Wednesday as they learned about healthy eating for International Chefs' Day.

Angela Ferguson, aka the Amazing Chef Angela and president of Taranaki's New Zealand Chefs' Association and head of the trades faculty at the Western Institute of Technology,  said they had been running the event where chefs visit the classroom for three years.

"It's the kids; I love it. They're so excited," she said. "They're so knowledgeable as well; it's amazing."

International Chefs Day took place on October 20 but because of the school holidays the events were moved to a later date.

Ferguson said it was "vital" for kids to learn about healthy eating, and the schools were already doing a lot on the subject.

"It is about educating children about healthy eating.

"Kids are starting to learn about growing vegetables without pesticides and things like that. I know that yesterday the kids learned about the healthy eating pyramid.

"I think it's vital and just getting away from that whole sugary cakes and takeaway stuff."

Michael Wood, aka Mandarin Mike, food technology teacher at Inglewood High School, helped set up the event because his daughter Tara is in the class.

"All these resources are through the Chefs' Association so it's really very cool. They come up with a theme each year and we're able to use these resources," he said.

On Wednesday, after completing their hero chefs' hats, the kids made hummus with carrot, celery and cucumber and tortilla wedges, and the second group made banana and blueberry smoothies, before they combined for shared kai. The kids will also go home with donated 'little kitchen' sets.

Tara Wood, aka Tara the Terrific Tomato, 8, said she thought the classes were a good idea.

"Because [otherwise] they might eat too much bad food," she said. 

This is the third year the New Zealand Chefs' Association has partnered with Nestlé to involve young children in International Chefs Day.

Nestlé New Zealand country manager and CEO, Christian Abboud, said being able to prepare a healthy meal is a fundamental part of enjoying a healthy diet as adults.

"International Chefs Day workshops give children the chance to have fun and be creative with food, while they prepare supercharged meals, using the superhero foods that are the focus for this year," he said.

New Zealand is one of 120 countries participating.

Reprinted from Stuff: https://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/98198893/food-heroes-learn-healthy-eating-for-international-chefs-day

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