Of all the things I’m most grateful for, learning how to cook as a young child is perhaps the most enduring of them all. My parents weren’t afraid to let me experiment, and I thank them both for smiling through all of the countless rubbery pancakes I served during my “breakfast in bed” phase. All the encouragement, the patience, the help with recipes, and the myriad of cookbooks just for kids have allowed me to end up where I am now, a home cook and food writer hopelessly in love with being in the kitchen. The kitchen of any home is where I feel most relaxed, just knowing that I’m standing in a room containing everything one needs to feel happy is a wonderful feeling.
Through my work as food writer for Weight Watchers Canada I’ve met some truly inspiring people in the food community: restaurant owners, cooks, gardeners, and dieticians. Cristel Moubarak is one of these fantastic people, she helped me when I was writing an article about the importance of getting your whole family in the kitchen. In addition to being a registered dietitian, Cristel runs her own company called nutriFoodie, an organization that strives to get everyone involved with cooking from the ground up, providing wholesome recipes and food preparation tips for the whole family.
Each summer, nutriFoodie runs a series of day camps for children aged 8-13 focusing on food preparation and nutrition education, all in a setting that promotes happiness, mindfulness, and self-care. This would be my idea of heaven as a shy kid with a strong interest in food, and learning about food in such an empowering way at such a young age is so essential for the creation of healthy, bright, and confident adults. Food, cooking, and nutrition can be seen as such overly complicated entities, when really all that’s needed is a hands on exploration of the basics. Cristel’s nutriFoodie camps are a gentle way for your child to dive into the diverse world of food, I’m finding myself wishing I was 11 years old again, just checking out my first copy of Fanny Farmer from the Landon Library.
The July nutriFoodie camps are held at the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in Vancouver from July 18-22. The August summer camps will be held at the UBC Campus on August 8-12, 15-19, and 22-26. Online registration forms can be found here.