Everybody enjoyed their home-made PACT lunch

By JO COOK

WOW! We had another great turnout at our last PACT (Plan Prepare Activate Consume Together) session.

PACT is a community program that helps families and children understand the link between food choices and good health.

We had 13 people attend last week and we started by making hummingbird cupcakes. While they were cooling we roasted pumpkin and baked some marinated chicken pieces for our tortillas. We rolled up the tortillas filled with chicken, pumpkin and fetta and baked them. Then we made a tomato salsa.

Gill, Debbie and Kylie icing the delicious hummingbird cupcakes.
Gill, Debbie and Kylie icing the delicious hummingbird cupcakes.

After the tortillas we had a cupcake and a cup of tea and talked about what everyone would like to cook next week. We decided on risotto and arancini because not many of the women knew what that is! They’re definitely able to make some more complicated meals so we’ll give it a go.

The on-site childcare worked really well and I think the kids felt much more comfortable having their mums close by.

The program runs for four hours a week over five weeks. Up to a dozen local families join me at the Brighton Civic Centre to learn about the benefits of healthy family meals and to plan, prepare and consume fabulous food together.

Each week we have special guest chefs, who work with the participants on producing top quality, healthy meals, despite the cakes being rated by weight watchers at 23.2 points each!

The program is funded by the Tasmanian Early Years Foundation and is linked with the Riverside Community Nursery, where staff volunteers assist in the education process in food choices.

Phil Leed, community development manager for STEPS, which runs the nursery, said the program does much more than just teach people new recipes.

“It is one of the best examples of social inclusion I have witnessed. Well done to Jo and all those behind this program and of course the nursery too. I just think it is great how this community works together,” Mr Leed said.

A further five week PACT program is planned for later in 2009 and will be advertised through www.brightonalive.com.au. To find out more call Brighton Council on 6268 7000.