• By: Tori McNeely

Kid Food Nation gala in Ottawa celebrates young chefs

Photo credit: Ben Welland, byfield-pitman photography

This past Sunday, 26 young chefs from across Canada travelled to Ottawa where they showcased their winning recipes, met famous Canadians and celebrated their love of healthy eating at the second annual Kid Food Nation gala. Hosted by YTV’s Carlos Bustamante, this year’s gala took place at the Fairmont Château Laurier.

Kid Food Nation is a cross-Canada food skills initiative designed for kids between the ages of 7 and 12. The Kid Food Nation national program run at Boys and Girls Clubs aims to teach food skills, enhance food literacy and empower young children to live a healthier lifestyle. We often carry the dietary habits established during childhood into adulthood which is why childhood is the ultimate time to promote acceptance of healthier foods. With the help of various organizations, Kid Food Nation is making that possible!

Generously funded by the Government of Canada, Kid Food Nation is created through the partnership of PC Children’s Charity, Corus Entertainment, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

"Nutrition education and culinary skills are the two ingredients that make healthy eating habits," says Sarah Davis, Chair of PC Children's Charity and President of Loblaws. "Through PC Children's Charity and the Kid Food Nation program, we will equip an entire generation with the culinary skills they need to make wholesome and nutritious meals for themselves and their families."

Each year, Kid Food Nation holds a national recipe contest where children from coast to coast are encouraged to submit original, healthy recipes that highlight their culture or their Canadian pride. Children much like nine-year-old Briana, a Boys and Girls Club member and one of this year’s contest winners who entered her Jamaican Chicken Soup inspired by her father’s love of cooking and island heritage.


In addition to the 26 young chefs, the event saw special guests John Oliver, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP Ottawa—Vanier, Lisa Battistelli, Executive Director, PC Children’s Charity and Owen Charters, President & CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

"Having kids engaged in healthy meal preparation can have a tremendous impact on their health and wellbeing, and forms positive, healthy habits for the future," said The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. "Congratulations to the winners of this year's Kid Food Nation recipe challenge for finding creative and fun ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lives by coming up with healthy, delicious, and nutritious recipes."

Curious as to what these winners have got cooking? From Aloo Gobi with Poori to Baked Arctic Char with Citrus Relish, you can find all of the winning recipes showcased in the Kid Food Nation cookbook!

To learn more about #KidFoodNation click here.