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Primary students in Whitehorse learn healthy eating habits

Chopping vegetables might be a mundane task for the average adult, but for the students at Grey Mountain Primary School, it’s a chance to experience the fun in doing things for themselves.

Students learn healthy food habits and power of working as a team

Students at Grey Mountain Primary School in Whitehorse helped prepare bannock for their school's feast on Wednesday. (Caitlin Taylor/CBC)

Chopping vegetables might be a mundane task for the average adult, but for the students at Whitehorse's Grey Mountain Primary School, it's a chance to experience the fun in doing things for themselves.

"They really feel empowered to use the real tools and feel like they are preparing real food," said Barb Reid, librarian at the school.

Reid lead her school in a program held across Canada on Wednesday called "Chef for a Day," where students learned about healthy eating habits and food preparation.

"We noticed that there's a need — a strong need — for children to learn about balancing their meals, about eating a variety of foods," said Reid.

Reid organized a feast of stew and bannock that was prepared  — and enjoyed — by the whole school. In the days leading up to the meal, students helped with tasks like chopping vegetables for the stew and preparing the bannock.

The program is meant to help kids learn healthy eating habits. (Caitlin Taylor/CBC)

"I think the 'how to make it' part is the key to [finding] interest in almost anything," said Reid. "We are all — well certainly most of us — are more interested in the things we do rather than the things we see or hear about."

Students seemed to agree.

"It was very nice, I felt like it tasted even better when I worked on it, than just watching people do it," said grade three student, Caitlin Cross.

Cross and her classmates chopped 10 pounds of carrots, 10 pounds of potatoes, four heads of celery and a couple of bags of onions for the stew. She says she also learned the importance of cooperation and working as a team with her classmates.

"We get things done much faster and have more fun with it, too," she said.

The school was joined by the Chunday K'anat'a dance group from Elijah Smith School, who performed some of their dances for the students before they shared the feast together.

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