C.H.E.F. (Cooking Healthy for Early Childhood Foundations) Conference
In the spring of 2019, the Calgary West Coalition and the University of Calgary Child Care Centre started a discussion around bringing together people in Calgary and surrounding areas, who cook for an early childhood population. There are many workshops and conferences for early childhood educators, but none that deal with the specific and unique challenges related to cooking for the early years. The feeling was that this group was isolated and we couldn’t have been more right. A one-day conference was held in October 2019 at the University of Calgary. The UofC Child Care Centre provided the space, organized the workshop speakers and plans for the day. The Coalition helped with planning, promotion, registration, and implementation. University of Calgary Nursing Students and KidsU provided support during the day. Financial support and give-aways were provided by Sysco, Atco Blue Flames Kitchen, and Calgary Co-op. Topics included: Food Safety, The New Canada Food Guide, and a Conversation Café where participants self selected a topic. A food challenge was also undertaken by all participants which promoted team work, and new and creative ideas. Everyone who was registered attended. The day had fantastic energy and great feedback was given at the end. A Facebook page has been created for this group and a Network is being formed. Thanks also for the collaborative efforts with Calgary North West and Calgary North Central Coalitions. Plans for another conference are in the works!