From making frittatas to baking cookies, Boîte à Lunch teaches kids about nutrition through free, weekly afterschool cooking workshops in the N.D.G. area.
The workshops are held in schools and community centres in the West End neighbourhood. All the ingredients, measuring tools and kitchen equipment are provided. Volunteers and community workers lead the sessions by discussing the ingredients and their nutritional value. Aside from handing out the recipes and answering questions, the students take the lead and cook independently. In the past, students have made Pad Thai, parfaits, desserts and more. “I think it’s an empowering program,” said coordinator Beccah Frasier. “Eating is something we do every day and kids don’t always have a lot of say in it.”
The kids go home with a nutritious lunch for the next day and also explore the ecological aspect of cooking. They learn about the importance of recycling and composting and how to avoid food waste.
Comité Action launched the initiative in 2003 then merged with the N.D.G. Food Depot last year. The workshops for elementary students are geared to kids in Grades 4 and 5. Each session has approximately 16 participants, so priority registration goes to kids who might not have access to proper nutrition.
The program takes place during the fall and winter school sessions. Fall workshops for elementary students run over 10 weeks beginning Oct. 3. Workshops for high school students (open only to students at l’école secondaire St. Luc and annexe St. Luc) are held for 20 weeks beginning Oct. 11 on a drop-in basis. Registration opens Sept. 12 (elementary students) and Sept. 19 (high school students).
Along with the school initiatives, the organization also offers workshops for adults and families with the Community Kitchen program.
For more information or to sign up, visit boitealunchndg.org