Special cooking program unites youth and adults

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Big Brothers Big Sisters’ ‘Big Little Cooks’ initiative embraces many forms of learning

TRURO – A new batch of cooks have risen up in Truro.

Six groups of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester matches have participated in an eight-week initiative called Big Little Cooks, a cooking program that involves creating a budget, grocery shopping, creating themes and healthy meals to share as a group, followed by cleanup.

One duo taking part in the initiative, which partnered with Slate Youth Centre and a Colchester East Hants Health Authority dietetic representative, is ‘big’ Nancy Crosby and ‘little’ Alex Woods, who have been matched through the big and little organization for five years.

The duo said they were immediately attracted to the cooking program for many reasons.

“I like to learn new things and I’m good at making my own recipes,” said Woods, 14, of Truro. “I like tasting new foods … dessert pizza was the best.”

“I knew Alex was very interested and it’s a good age to learn cooking skills and we can all learn more,” said Crosby, of East Mountain, describing herself as an “adequate” cook.

Crosby said the experience was very surprising in one specific way.

“I’m surprised how well the kids worked together and naturally helped each other out. And now they are trying new things at home.”

Crosby said that’s exciting because many youth don’t have such opportunities as often as they would like.

“In some cases kids don’t get in the kitchen a lot at home and kids are losing skills in the kitchen, and some adults too,” she said. “This helps kids get back to the basics and maybe they can teach their (families) some new things.”

Crosby said the experience has also been a reminder to young and old to make healthy food choices.

On Tuesday, the group gathered for a meal of spaghetti, salad, bread and apple crisp. As part of the “graduation” ceremony, participants were given certificates for their efforts during the program. They also welcomed friends and family to the celebration.

Michelle Misener, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, said the program was a huge success.

“Many hadn’t done this type of thing before and we had a private website for the group to share recipes,” Misener said. “It’s a really good life experience for them.”

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

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