Project CHEF: Cook Healthy Edible Food

Posted on 21 March 2011 | 5 comments | share this

Nothing like cute kids cooking to brighten up a rainy Monday afternoon. I have the pleasure of working with a program called Project CHEF.  True to its name, the program is about cooking healthy edible food with kids. When I first happened upon the program I just knew I had to get involved. It sounded like a dream and it really is. Some days I have to pinch myself that my work is teaching kids about good food, where it comes from, how delicious it is, how to cook it and even how to share it around the table with others. The energy and enthusiasm the kids bring to the classroom each day is truly infectious, as is the woman behind the program, Barb Finley.

Over the last 5 weeks we had the pleasure of working with the whole school at Tyee Elementary, kindergarten through to grade 7. To celebrate all the learning and eating that had taken place over the month there, the kids helped prepare a meal for the entire school and some invited guests, over 200 people. I thought it would be fun to share with you some images of the preparation and big day.

I guess someone forgot to tell these girls that they don’t eat the colour green. I think the youngest ones were the most enthusiastic salad eaters, even munching up the dandelion greens. More than I can say for a lot of adults. Lots of careful attention went into ripping up salad greens for the big lunch.

For dessert the kids made edible centre pieces with lovely fresh fruit…

Here are a few of the amazing paintings the kids created to decorate the gym where we taught for the 5 weeks. The wonderful thing about food is that it inspires more than cooking and eating, it also inspires art. These works of art certainly brightened up my day…

The tables were set and decorated with edible centre pieces that later served as dessert.  All 200+ students and guests happily munched on “Make You Strong Salad” with chickpeas, apple, and red cabbage and whole grain pasta with Tuscan tomato sauce. A heartwarming end to a wonderful stay at Tyee Elementary School.

If you are looking for more information regarding this outstanding program be sure to check out the Project CHEF website. There are also lots of great recipes there to inspire the little cooks in your life. As Barb reminds us each and everyday, always remember to have an open mind and an open mouth.

It is never too early to get kids in the kitchen, so get busy!

Happy Cooking.


  • Beautiful post, Melissa!

  • Helen Poplett -

    Another inspiring post Melissa, and what wonderful artwork. Keep up the good work.

  • Thanks for your continued support ladies!

    Helen- we will have to do some cooking and blogging sometime this summer, in Portland perhaps.

  • Yes! For all those adults out there who think that kids don’t like veggies…when we nurture our children’s love of food and cooking, they will become healthy eaters. So inspiring, Melissa.

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