Health Promotion At DIT
Triona Keane is my name and I am currently working as Health Promotion Officer for DIT. One of my roles, amongst others, is to encourage college students to make healthy food choices. To be enabled to do this, I passionately believe that students need to be taught how to cook and vary their food choices. For many students, university is their first experience of living away from home and they either don’t know how to cook or they have a limited selection in their food repertoire.
As we are all too aware, obesity remains a rapidly growing epidemic in Ireland today with huge burdens being placed on our health system. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that food and obesity are inextricably linked and so it is extremely important that we begin to encourage healthy food behaviours in our youth of today if we are going to make a significant contribution to reducing the obesity epidemic in Ireland.
Student Behavioral Change
It is now being recognised the enormous capacity for behaviour change amongst college students nationwide. The habits formed by students during their college years are highly likely to evolve into lifetime habits unless appropriate health interventions are put in place. By educating our college students with regards to healthy food choices and equipping them with some basic cooking skills, I believe that we can make a difference. Simple steps such as these can generate significant interest in food and healthy eating. It is with this in mind, that I am looking for chef involvement.
One step I am taking towards promoting healthy food habits amongst DIT students includes a Cooking Demonstration in the form of a cooking competition between a staff and student member. The aim of this cooking competition is to supply students with a healthy recipe that is quick and easy to prepare as well as being of sound nutritional value. Both members’ will be given a food recipe (Chicken-Broccoli Stir-fry) to cook and whoever cooks the winning recipe better will win a prize. It is my plan to give the student that takes part the prize of a cooking lesson with a private chef whether they win or not.
Student Recipe Challenge
This is supported by a Student Recipe Challenge which was run before Christmas, whereby students were requested to submit healthy recipes to me that were:
- Quick and easy to prepare.
- Cheap and Inexpensive
- Of good nutritional value
We think this competition is something a chef might like to get involved in because it’s primarily embedded in cooking, food and nutrition. Also, a chef has superb cooking skills and sound knowledge of food choices which can be passed on to the student that wins the prize. In turn, this student will be enabled to pass on the skills learned to their friends who can pass it on further. It is possible to create a ripple effect with something as simple as this and take it beyond the individual level. It is in this way that I eventually hope to change the eating patterns of DIT college students.
One Philanthropically Minded Chef Needed
I’m hoping to find for one chef to generously give up their time to provide one private cooking lesson to a student. The chef does not need to be at the event, i.e the competition itself; the private cooking lesson will happen at a time and a place convenient to the staff and student after the event which is why I am not specifying times and dates. But the event will take place next Thursday 29th January from 1pm-2pm in Cathal Brugha Street. I will supply all the equipment from the food to the cooking utensils and offer the chef free lunch for generously giving up their time.
This opportunity can offer vast exposure of your talents as a chef to over 20,000 students and also your restaurant. You would also be looking at increasing their custom/clientele from a dense student population and more.
If you are interested in offering a private cooking lesson to a DIT student, use the form below or phone me at 01 402 42 41.
DIT Cookery Class Volunteer Form
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