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Cooking together at Stanley Knowles

Newcomer families are learning about Canadian culture through the kitchen thanks to a partnership between École Stanley Knowles School and Norwest Co-op Community Health.

The Stanley Knowles Family Cooking Club meets weekly afterschool to cook and to make a connections over everyone’s favourite topic: food!

Each program session lasts from 6 to 10 weeks. The program is funded through Norwest’s Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Program, as well as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

“We’ve have parents, grandparents and children cooking together in the home economics room,” said Tammy Nasuti, a dietician and settlement worker with Norwest Co-op Community Health. “We are using the sessions to practise English. They’re reading recipes, talking about food, and learning about some healthier ways to cook.”

Another message the program shares is the value of cooking and eating together.

 “There are so many benefits to cooking as a family and sitting down together for a meal,” Ms. Nasuti said. “The kids are grating cheese, measuring flour and helping to stir. They can learn so much when they help out.”

Families are also learning how to cook and use vegetables that are more common to Canadian supermarkets.

“We’re introducing the families to some of the new vegetables we have here in Canada,” said Malou Josue, a WSD Intercultural Support Worker. “And if there are vegetables in their home country that they can’t get here, we have Canadian alternatives.”

“Canadian food can mean so many things because we’re so multicultural,” Ms. Nasuti added.

Ann Lopez, whose family came from the Philippines to Canada last school year, attends the classes with her son William.

“He loves to cook,” Ms. Lopez said. “He wants to be a chef someday. We told him he can be a pilot and a chef at the same time.”

She added that the classes have been enjoyable and informative.

“We’re learning recipes that are more nutritious and cheaper, it’s very useful,” she said. “We just learned a recipe for mac and cheese that had more vegetables added to it, it was good.”

Stanley Knowles Cooking.jpg

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