Learning how to eat healthy and ward off disease the WA Foodbank way

Foodbank's Food Sensations Program

With COVID-19 sweeping the world, the importance of proper eating has put WA charity Foodbank to the forefront with its Food Sensations for Adults program. 

The cooking and nutrition program enables people to learn more about healthy eating and develop skills to make positive changes for improved health and wellness, says food security and nutrition manager Dr Roslyn Giglia.

Following the recent easing of coronavirus restrictions in WA, Foodbank WA is again hosting its Food Sensations for Adults sessions with the first held in July and more sessions to follow.

“Despite the restrictions in the past few months, Food Sensations for Adults has continued to provide education to the community through online workshops,” Dr Giglia said.

While the immediate health risk has eased in WA, the economic and social impacts will be long lasting, she said.

“No matter what your age or level of experience in the kitchen, there is something for everyone.”

The program, funded by the WA Department of Health, has been providing nutrition education programs to the community since 2007.

The free program is designed to provide people over 18 with an understanding of healthy eating, as well as skills on how to buy and prepare healthy food. 

All sessions are hands on, fun and create a safe environment to try new recipes and skills.

The programs are now operating face-to-face and online through Zoom so that people can take part from the comfort of their own home.

The four-week program is run with groups of five to 12 people. Topics covered in the four 1½ hour sessions include healthy eating, reading food labels, budgeting, meal planning and food safety.

Each session involves cooking and eating recipes from Foodbank WA’s delicious, healthy recipe books.

Program delivery is tailored to each group. For example week four covers a topic of interest such as mindful eating, junk food, fad diets, healthy lunch boxes and snacks or a supermarket tour.

“No matter what your age or level of experience in the kitchen, there is something for everyone,” Dr Giglia said.

“We provide a fun and safe environment to learn new skills and recipes that are good for your health and your hip pocket.”

“There is so much nutrition information available these days that it can leave people feeling overwhelmed and confused. When people come to our program, they are looking for clarity around what to eat and how to cook healthy and affordable meals.

“A poor diet is a significant modifiable risk factor for chronic disease. It can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in the diet is one way to reduce the risk of these diseases and people in the program have improved their consumption of both through taking part.”

To register for an upcoming program, visit the website foodbank.org.au/healthyeating or call to find a nearby location. 

Foodbank will continue to offer a free online version of the program. All people need is access to Zoom on a computer, phone or tablet