P.E.I. researchers whipping up video cookbook for people with intellectual disabilities
Cooking simple, healthy recipes important for independent living
Researchers at P.E.I.'s Holland College are developing an online video cookbook designed to encourage people with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities to prepare healthy, balanced and affordable meals.
The work is being done by the college's applied research department with help from several organizations including Tremploy, Sobeys and the P.E.I. Association for Community Living.
"The idea of developing some recipes that would be focused on foods that are highly nutritious, relatively inexpensive and with easily-accessible ingredients just seemed like it fit the bill ideally," said Greg McKenna, a research consultant with Holland College, in an interview with Mainstreet P.E.I.'s Angela Walker.
"That's an important part of independent living — being able to make appropriate decisions about the kinds of food you're going to eat and then being able to make the purchases and produce those kinds of foods," McKenna said.
The idea for a cookbook for people with intellectual challenges came from a Holland College culinary student years ago. It didn't happen then, but it resurfaced while McKenna was working on another video project at the college.
"You can set things up to be appropriately paced, using appropriate vocabulary," McKenna said. "Plus the really wide accessibility that's available through the internet. So it just seemed like a perfect fit."
The series will have five to seven recipes and will focus on foods that are inexpensive.
"Folks that have intellectual disabilities, they often have financial limitations," McKenna noted, so their food selection tends toward cheaper, less nutritious foods.
McKenna received funding for the project from a provincial government community wellness grant.
Islanders with intellectual disabilities are involved at every stage, McKenna said, from focus groups to taste testing.
McKenna hopes to have the videos done by March or April 2019.
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With files from Angela Walker