Teaching Kitchen: The ultimate cooking experience
Compass One’s Teaching Kitchen has won the DUX Eat Better, Live Better project category award at the gala in Montreal on January 30th, 2019. The winning company is recognized for their leadership and innovation in projects that improve the dietary choices, health and wellness of Canadian
So what exactly is the Teaching Kitchen? The Teaching Kitchen is a fun and interactive platform to explore food, learn about nutrition and enhance participants’ cooking skills. Each session is led by a Dietitian and Chef who provide participants with healthy cooking tips so they can learn how to prepare easy, delicious meals made from wholesome ingredients at home.
The Teaching Kitchen had been implemented at North York General Hospital and classes are available for hospital staff including nurses, physicians as well as the community such as previously discharged patients, outpatients, their caregivers and family members.
Participants learn nutrition knowledge and food skills with the intention of improving cooking behaviours, quality of meals and the frequency of meals cooked and eaten at home. Interactive cooking classes feature fresh seasonal foods, prepared in a manner that excites the senses, builds relationships and enhances the community’s well-being.
Literature and research has shown that more Canadians are turning to fast food, delivery and eating out instead of grocery shopping and cooking at home. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, up to 80% of premature deaths related to heart disease and stroke can be prevented through a healthy diet and exercise. Not knowing how to cook stands as a barrier to eating healthy and preparing nutritious meals. Research shows that hands-on cooking classes are effective in increasing confidence with cooking (improved knife skills) and food skills at all ages and that better health and higher fruit and vegetable consumption is related to an increased frequency of meals cooked and eaten within the home. For example, for those with diabetes, cooking programs have resulted in a reduction in A1C (average blood sugar), other studies showed a reduction in blood pressure or improved cholesterol.
The Teaching Kitchen’s goal is to empower and teach participants basic nutrition education and culinary skills through hands on cooking classes so that they have the ability to improve their food skills, cook at home more often and make healthy food choices.
There are many benefits to the teaching kitchen:
- Increased frequency of cooking at home
- Decrease home meal time stress
- Increase frequency of family time at home
- Increased nutrition knowledge and skills to manage diet and health conditions at home
- Helps prevent hospital readmissions and address malnutrition in the community
- Increased appreciation of cultural diversity and world cuisines
- Improved employee productivity/morale (team building events within the organization)
- Engagement with existing healthcare organization wellness initiatives (mom baby class, baby food), cardiac, outpatient diabetes, children in kitchen