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Magic happens in the Walkabout Kitchen

Date posted: 14 July 2017

A bush tucker feast of kangaroo meat, lemon myrtle and tasty bush spices isn’t something you would traditionally find on a primary school lunch menu. But that’s what students in the Cessnock and Kurri Kurri areas of New South Wales have been cooking up on a weekly basis for the past few years. It’s all part of a unique initiative between Hunter New England Health and the Korreil Wonnai Aboriginal Educational Consultative Group that aims to promote the importance of healthy eating and chronic disease prevention in the Aboriginal community. The magic happens in the Walkabout Kitchen, a mobile kitchen trailer that incorporates the Deadly Cooking program.

Sonia Sharpe, President of Cessnock and Kurri Kurri Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and Department of Education Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer, said the Walkabout Kitchen had been a great asset for those who have trouble accessing transport.

'We would like our families to learn healthy eating and to be able to give their children healthy lunchboxes. Healthier children means better attendance and concentration levels at school,' she said.

Sonia said it was important to make healthy food that appealed as much as the food served in fast food outlets. 'The program encourages children to ‘eat a rainbow’, to eat healthily. By eating five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day children can live a healthier life,' Sonia said.

The feedback from Cessnock West, Year 6 students has been overwhelmingly positive. 'I really like cooking and this has taught me how to cook properly,' student Juliarna Motum said.

Classmate, Ebony Markwort said she had learned a lot about good nutrition. 'I have learnt about how many pieces of fruit and vegetables you are meant to be having each day,' she said.

Sonia said the Walkabout Kitchen trailer enabled the program to be delivered in a culturally appropriate environment.

'By taking the program to the community, we hope to increase access and participation so more Aboriginal people are educated about the importance of healthy eating in the prevention and management of chronic disease,' she said.

Source: health matters

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Last updated: 13 July 2017
 
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