Let’s Start Cooking

There’s no better time to get healthy and ready for summer than

National Nutrition Week

(13th to 19th of October). National Nutrition Week also coincides with World Food Day and Nude Food Day. So it’s definitely the right time to take that next step towards greater health.

National Nutrition Week raises awareness and supports the community to look at how the food and lifestyle choices we make impact our health. Each year, Nutrition Australia releases a theme for National Nutrition Week, and this year’s theme is Project DinnerTime-Cook, Eat, Enjoy.

The aim of Project DinnerTime is to improve our knowledge, skills and confidence in the kitchen by empowering people to prepare more meals from home. With the abundance of convenience foods and the common belief of healthy cooking being difficult and expensive, home cooking has declined. With the rates of obesity and chronic disease rising, it’s important that we all work on improving the nutritional quality of our diets.

Healthy cooking at home is a great way to improve our diets and health. It gives us control over the ingredients we put into our meals and foods that we feed our bodies. With some easy planning and preparation, cooking at home can be quick and easy. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save too! Cooking at home is a great way to get the whole family involved in health eating through menu planning, grocery shopping, food preparation and cooking. It’s also a fun and fantastic way to educate children about healthy eating.

As mentioned in the theme, Project DinnerTime addresses the following areas:

Cook: Develop skills and confidence to cook meals from scratch. This includes learning basic food safety principles, following recipes and learning how to identify healthy recipes based on ingredients and preparation methods. There is a strong emphasis on choosing budget conscious meals with a focus on seasonal variety.

Eat: Appreciate the tastes and textures of wholesome foods. Develop a greater depth of knowledge and understanding food labels and making healthy choices in the supermarket.

Enjoy: Experience the celebration and social/emotional connectedness that food brings. This can build and strengthen family relationships around the dinner table.

Let’s all take one step towards better health during National Nutrition Week by getting on-board with Project DinnerTime. Take this as an opportunity to try a new vegetable or that recipe you’ve always wanted to try.

Nutrition Australia have put together a Project DinnerTime Kit to help everyone with health cooking at home. Whether you’re already a fantastic home cook or you’re looking for healthy cooking ideas, The Kit will give you information on cooking on a budget, making healthy food choices, kitchen and pantry basics to make home cooking easy and recipe building blocks which can be modified to suit anyone’s taste. The Kit is free to download on the Nutrition Australia website. For more information and access to the kit, visit www.nutritionaustralia.org