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Teen chef competition inspires healthy eating amongst youth.

Theron North Peigan and Cleve Small Legs getting their dish judged during the Teen Chef Competition. Photo by Tawnya Plain Eagle.

By Tawnya Plain Eagle

Aakom-Kiyii Health Services hosted a two day Teen Top Chef Competition last month.

The objective of the program was to encourage youth to start cooking while showing them how they could get creative in the kitchen.

According to Aakom-Kiyii Health Services Dietitian, Jenny Egilsson learning cooking skills at an early age will help youth eat healthier in the future because they won’t need to rely on processed foods.

 “Often, kids learn to love cooking by preparing foods they enjoy, which is why we chose foods that they would like to eat.” Dietitian Jenny Egilsson said

During the workshop the youth were tasked with creating their own pasta dish from scratch.

Participants were given one hour to make their dish and present it to the judges. 

Prior to cooking they had to choose their noodle, sauce, protein and 4 vegetables to include. 

 “We taught them about meal balance by insisting they use a protein and four different vegetables in their pasta creation. This was hard for some,” she added. 

Healthy eating also includes your own cooking skills, enjoying what you eat with your friends and family and also looking at how your culture as an impact on healthy eating habits.

On the first day, the youth had a Fry Bread lesson from caterer Elaine Smite before they got to make their own batch. 

“We turned it into a competition where the youth were encouraged to get creative with different tastes and toppings,” Egilsson added. 

Not only did the youth learned about healthy cooking habits and kitchen safety they also gained an appreciation for preparing food from scratch. 

“Some participants had never made fry bread, boiled noodles or cooked meat on their own before attending the competition,” she said. 

Photo by Tawnya Plain Eagle

Aakom-Kiyii Health Services wants to encourage nation members of all ages to make healthy choices. March is Nutrition month so keep your eyes open for more workshops. 

Below is the list of the Teen Top Chef competition winners: 

1st Place Winner – Tyler Old Man Chief

2nd Place – Theron North Peigan and Cleve Small Legs

3rd Place – Hartwell North Peigan 

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