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Cooking healthy meals with Canada’s new food guide in the classroom

How Project CHEF is teaching kids about the new food guide

By Kassidie Cornell and Brandon Wei , in City Feature story , on February 13, 2019

Health Canada released its latest food guide in January. It includes many changes, including reducing the four food groups to three and calling for more fresh fruits, vegetables and plant-based proteins.

A Vancouver-based program called Project CHEF brings food and cooking education to the classroom. Established in 2007, Project CHEF supplies grades 4 and 5 classes in the Vancouver school district with the skills to cook meals and the knowledge of how to eat healthy food.

Barb Finley, the founder of Project CHEF, considers herself an educator first. She has a passion for teaching children and families the importance of cooking — which goes beyond cooking.

“I was a teacher before I was a chef and I saw what lunches came to school,” Finely said. “We see it every day. Lunches that are brought to school are not necessarily fitting with Canada’s food guide. Highly processed food, and I thought we could do better than this, and that the best way to do this is in a classroom where we reach all kids.”