Kid Food Nation is a national food skills initiative, designed for kids aged 7-12 years. The initiative aims to help improve Canadians’ food skills and support healthy eating habits by empowering and educating kids, parents and families to develop practical knowledge and experience related to planning, preparing and cooking healthy meals and snacks.
Kid Food Nation is modelled after the U.S. Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kid’s State Dinner programs.
The Kid Food Nation initiative has four parts:
1. In-Club programming and food skills curriculum
The Kid Food Nation food skills curriculum is delivered over eight weeks. Each week focuses on healthy recipes and a specific set of food skills such as meal planning or safe use of kitchen equipment. The curriculum is being rolled out in approximately 70 local Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada over five years. It will also serve as a framework to influence the development and delivery of food programming at Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
2. Online hub and television programming to reach Canadian families at home
The Kid Food Nation online hub on YTV.com features cooking videos with kids, celebrity chefs and local talent, grocery shopping lists for nutritious foods, as well as games and quizzes. In addition, topics related to the Kid Food Nation curriculum will also be available on the online hub.
On-air television content has been developed for viewing during the period of 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on weeknights — when children and parents are watching together. Featuring popular YTV hosts, the segments engage children in learning content adapted from the curriculum, including cooking skills, healthy eating and other themes of the overall program. The National Recipe Challenge will also be promoted through on-air spots. On-air content will also be available on the online Hub.
3. National Recipe Challenge
This annual recipe challenge seeks healthy, flavourful and original recipes from kids aged 7 to 12 years from across Canada. In 2017, 26 winners were chosen. Creators of the winning submissions attended a luncheon gala in Ottawa, Ontario, where select winning recipes from the competition were served.
4. Kid Food Nation cookbook
The 26 winning recipes from the 2017 National Recipe Challenge will be featured in a cookbook that will include food preparation and cooking techniques, information on healthy eating, and a biography and photo of each winner. A printed edition will be published, and an online version will be available for free download.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) is a national non-profit organization providing services to more than 200,000 children and youth with programs in physical recreation, nutrition, technology, the arts, personal development and more. The BGCC is offering grants and training to clubs across Canada to support the delivery of the Kid Food Nation food skills program curriculum.
Corus Entertainment is a leading Canadian integrated media and entertainment company that owns online and television networks such as YTV and YTV interactive online hub, Treehouse, Nickelodeon, Teletoon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel Canada, as well as the Food Network, W Network, Slice, and HGTV. It will play a pivotal role in reaching Canadian youth and families through its social media, website, TV and in-person events to access, engage and activate children across the country.
President’s Choice Children’s Charity
The President’s Choice Children’s Charity supports school-based breakfast, lunch and snack programs in every province and territory. The charity is committed to helping children across Canada realize their full potential in life by ensuring they attend school well-nourished and ready to learn. The charity’s funds will be used to expand the reach of Corus’ content and to roll out the program to additional locations of the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Tanya Wenman Steel
Tanya Wenman Steel is an award-winning food journalist and founder of the U.S. “Kids' State Dinner.” Ms. Steel is providing expertise in healthy eating to help develop and implement the Kid Food Nation initiative.
Public Health Agency of Canada
Kid Food Nation is funded in part by the Public Health Agency of Canada through its Multi-Sectoral Partnerships Approach to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease Program. This program brings together multiple sectors to address complex social health issues, such as reducing childhood obesity, preventing chronic disease and helping Canadians lead healthier lives.