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Kitchen Ovens

Kids Feeding Kids Program

Led by local chefs, Kids Feeding Kids is an innovative program that empowers youth to create healthy, nutritious meals, enhancing their food education journey. This program is a cornerstone of the Collingwood Youth Centre (CYC), managed by the Environment Network and Elephant Thoughts Outreach. Through Kids Feeding Kids, youth engage in meal planning, sourcing nutritional ingredients, prepping, and preparing food, with most of the meals prepared staying at the centre for distribution to youth throughout the week.


Kids Feeding Kids aims to educate youth about nutrition and cooking, providing them with the skills needed to prepare healthy meals. This initiative supports food education, which is crucial for overall health and development, and helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Food prep in the kitchen

Key Program Activities

  • Meal Planning: Youth learn to create balanced meal plans, considering nutritional value and food variety.

  • Sourcing Ingredients: Participants are taught how to select fresh, nutritious ingredients, understanding the importance of sourcing.

  • Food Preparation: From basic hygiene and food safety to advanced kitchen skills like knife handling and using appliances, youth gain comprehensive culinary knowledge.

  • Cooking Techniques: The program covers various cooking methods, including grilling, roasting, baking, and pizza making. Additionally, it introduces youth to world cuisines such as sushi making and dessert preparation, like crème brûlée.

Loading Pizza in the oven

Local Impact & Food Security
A nutritious diet is crucial for overall health, optimal growth, and development, reducing the risk of chronic diseases. However, food insecurity remains a significant issue in the Simcoe Muskoka region. According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, one in five households experience some level of food insecurity. This affects physical and mental health, increasing the risk of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression. Children in food-insecure households are more likely to develop asthma and mental health issues.

The 2023 Nutritious Food Basket survey highlighted the rising costs of healthy food, making it difficult for many families to afford nutritious diets. For example, a family of four spends around $1,225.74 per month on basic nutritious groceries, with a significant portion of income allocated to food and rent. Programs like Kids Feeding Kids provide essential support, helping youth in food-insecure households access healthy meals in a fun and safe environment.

By participating in this program, youth not only receive meals but also gain valuable skills that contribute to their long-term well-being and self-sufficiency.

Culinary Education & Food Literacy 

Food Literacy Diagram

With access to our new commercial kitchen and the expertise of Red Seal chefs, Kids Feeding Kids offers a robust culinary education. Participants learn:

  • Food Hygiene and Safety: Ensuring all cooking practices meet health standards.

  • Recipe Following and Cooking Terminology: Understanding instructions and cooking language.

  • Advanced Skills: Using kitchen appliances and mastering knife skills.


By participating in Kids Feeding Kids, youth not only develop essential life skills but also contribute to a supportive community where they can thrive. This program ensures that any youth using the CYC facility who may require food receives it, fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment for all.

Join us in supporting Kids Feeding Kids by donating to the Collingwood Youth Centre, and help nurture the next generation of knowledgeable and healthy young individuals.

Kids making dough together
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