Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food - Noarlunga

Our school in 2015 and 2016 has organised a group of 8 students between the ages of 14-17 to participate in the Jamie's Ministry of Food cooking course in Noarlunga.

The students are working towards completing their Food Handling Course and sold lunches to school teachers and staff.
Their teacher thought Jamie's Ministry of Food would be an excellent opportunity for the students to build upon their cooking knowledge and experience in a community environment.

A Jamie's Ministry of Food trainer worked with the school to make a few minor adjustments to the program to accommodate students and ensure the group received maximum benefit.

Some of the ingredients such as garlic and chilli were a little challenging for students to handle safely so they were pre-chopped. The benchtop configuration of students was predetermined to minimise distractions.

The School organised two carers for the group and Jamie's Ministry of Food had a wonderful volunteer to assist students with hands-on skills such as chopping, stirring and cleaning, to explain or confirm instructions and reassure students. The salmon class was a huge hit with the students with many of them trying salmon for the first time.

Jamie's Ministry of Food gave the students an increased knowledge and skills in food preparation and cooking that they will be able to use every day for the rest of their lives.

They loved trying new foods and learning about healthy eating and making the right choices. The course offered broader communication skills, students accepted instructions and listened to the food trainer, the volunteers and carers - not just the school teachers.

They focused on modifying behaviour amongst the students with age appropriate responses to situations, working through challenges and accepting direction and redirection when a student was faced with a challenge.

Errington is passionate about setting students up with skills for life and found that the Jamie's Ministry of Food program was wonderful for increasing independence and confidence in the students' every day life.

It was also an opportunity to develop wider social skills, increased community access and to participate in society. The students developed increased emotional wellbeing, sense of self and a raised self-esteem through recognition of their achievements throughout the course.

Senior School teacher Karen Hill said "Catering pathways could prove a potential career post school. The students have created their own food business at school, we have access to the kitchens at our neighbouring main stream school and are currently completing the online 'I'm Alert! Food Handling Course'. Jamie's Ministry of Food was also an excellent opportunity for students to transfer skills out of the classroom and transition to a wider community environment."

Jamie's Ministry of Food Australia has been proven to work. An evaluation, conducted by Deakin University and The University of Melbourne showed that participants gained new cooking skills and food knowledge, were more confident to cook meals from scratch, increased their vegetable intake and spent less on take away foods.