Cheftastics explores cultures from all around the world, what people eat, how they produce their food, how climate effects produce in different parts of the world and how these cultures have adapted…..
By Interchange Australia Marketing Coordinator Kelly Taylor.
At Interchange Australia our Day Options programs are based upon the key components which are aimed at improving participants’ quality of life.
Life & Learning | Education | Health & Wellness | Socialising & Leisure.
Cheftastics is a wonderful program held weekly across all Interchange Australia campuses which incorporates all of these key components.
Life & Learning – the program incorporates planning, budgeting, shopping and emphasises the importance of self-care, providing skills which improve participant capacity and independence.
There are many skills learnt in preparing foods which assist with developing fine motor skills from peeling, cutting, slicing, dicing, grating, mixing, kneading and then baking and cooking.
Education – Cheftastics explores cultures from all around the world, what people eat, how they produce their food, how climate effects produce in different parts of the world and how these cultures have adapted and produce traditional menus based on to what is available to them. There is also a large focus on healthy eating and food for fuel for your body and how to prepare meals using ingredients such as superfoods.
Health & Wellness – At each of the Interchange Australia houses we run a program called Garden Gurus, part of this program involves participants growing and harvesting their own fresh produce for use in cooking programs.
Socialising & Leisure – Cooking and sharing a meal is where families and friends come together. There is no question that food is a key part of all our lives, but preparing and sharing a meal together creates a sense of connectedness amongst everyone. At Cheftastics once food has been prepared, everyone gathers and has their meal together. There is fantastic conversation, they also take the opportunity to make plans for the next week’s Cheftastics class. Sometimes a bit of a compromise is required between participants when it comes to ingredients being used, but this is a great communication skill to learn and helps solidify friendships through displaying respect for one another’s preferences.
Cheftastics is where this is materialised, they learn about healthy eating, how to plan and prepare meals using ingredients freshly harvested from the garden, what kinds of food they can expect to grow throughout the year, most of all it encourages healthy eating.
Participants are definitely more excited to try new foods particularly if it happens to be something they have grown, harvested and cooked themselves. Additionally by keeping participants involved and engaged throughout the entire process information retention is far greater.
Amongst all of this the program teaches good hygiene practices and important food safety tips – washing hands, cleaning food preparation areas, cross contamination, food storage temperatures, cooking food thoroughly, use of gloves and properly cleaning equipment after use.