GNH: Healthy Desserts Food Literacy Workshop with Youth






Project Summary


This project focus is an on-going development of food science and nutrition workshops and demos for children and youth in the Out of School Program

  • Plan, implement, and evaluate creative, engaging, and exciting workshops
  • Fall 2017 Focus: Creating Easy, Healthy, and Tasty Desserts

Areas of Focus

  • Food literacy
  • Child and youth education
  • Food science and nutrition


  • Food science and nutrition literacy skills
  • Educational workshop program development
  • Workshop evaluation

Special Considerations

  • A cleared Criminal Record Check (CRC) will be required for working with vulnerable adults and children (this is a specific CRC)


Organization Information


Gordon Neighbourhood House

Vision + Mission

Vision: As a place-based community organization, we work alongside our community, sister organizations, local businesses and policy-makers to animate and support dynamic programs, services and initiatives that respond to the needs and dreams of the community.

Mission: Gordon Neighbourhood House strives to ensure that the West End of Vancouver is a vibrant and active community, where everyone is empowered to play an active role in civil society.

Principles + Goals

  • Gordon Neighbourhood House offers a wide variety of programs (many of which are related to food).
  • Our Food Philosophy is detailed on our website:
  • Gordon Neighbourhood House uses food to nourish our community in a variety of ways, including the facilitation of intercultural exchange and dialogue, community capacity-building, and community development.


  • An understanding that food brings us together and can act as vehicle for community-building.
  • A recognition that all members of our community have a Right to Food based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while also acknowledging that we as a community enjoy various levels of access to food.
  • A commitment to sharing fresh, non-expired, healthy, and locally-sourced food whenever possible.
  • A commitment to sharing food that is nutrient-dense, low in refined sugar and sodium, and not overly-processed.
  • A commitment to working toward increased access to food for those who are nutritionally vulnerable.
  • A commitment to providing opportunities for increased food literacy and community capacity-building for our neighbours.
  • A commitment to sharing foods that reflect the diversity of our community, city, country and world.
  • An awareness of the impact that our food choices have on the environment.
  • A commitment to the reduction of our organizational ecological footprint by minimizing packaging and ongoing composting.
  • Support for the development of urban farms and healthy food cooperatives.

Primary Contact

  • Contact Person(s): Isabel Ashton
  • Email:
  • Address: 1019 Broughton Street
  • Phone: 604 683 2554
  • Website:
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email

Project Description

Out of School Care (OSC) provides supervised and fun after-school activities and out-trips for students at Lord Roberts Elementary or Annex. The program is open to school-aged children in grades kindergarten to Grade 7 (ages 5-10). It runs from 3pm – 6pm on weekdays. We want children to experience the principles of our food philosophy at an early age, as a part of their time at Gordon House. This project complements existing programs such as the Kids community kitchen on Tuesdays, as part of OSC, where children cooperate to cook and share a meal – using recipes and/or improvisation! Students will plan, implement and run a Healthy Dessert community kitchen for the Out of School program kids. Students with an interest in recipe development and food literacy will be working with the kids to create and test healthy dessert recipes that the kids can eat as their after-school snack, and take home to make with their family. If students are interested, they can incorporate an edible insect component into the dessert recipes.

Goal and Project Scope

  • Students will discover the kids’ favorite flavors and what they know about healthy eating, and come up with 1-2 healthy dessert recipes that the kids can make and eat during Out of School daycare, and to take home as printed copies. The recipe(s) can also be adapted by our Chef to make dessert for our Community Lunch program.
  • We would like this to be an ongoing / repeat project that happens in the Winter semester with a different group of students, potentially incorporating an edible insect theme. As such, the students would be responsible for documenting their activities and the results (e.g. how was the activity received by the children? What were the challenges in carrying off the activity? What were the main learning outcomes?) in a log, for later students to learn from.

Skills Preferred

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Basic cooking and/or baking experience
  • Ideal for a food science, nutrition or entymology student
  • Comfortable working with children in an engaging and interactive manner

Skills to Be Developed

  • Educational workshop planning
  • Communication and engagement with children and youth
  • Food literacy

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

  • To be determined with community partner. Out of School Care program runs Mondays to Thursdays from 3pm - 6pm

Project/Partner Orientation

Orientation will be with the whole student group. Students will ideally help set up and serve community lunch (at least one lunch) at Gordon House to get oriented to the kitchen, staff and community (Mon-Thurs 10-1:30pm). Otherwise, the OSC community programmer or Chef can orient students to the kitchen, and students can help the Chef with a kids cooking session before trying out their own recipes and activities.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

  • Students can dive into learning about our Food Programs and Philosophy by volunteering for the West End Food Festival, organized by Gordon House between September 21-26th.
  • They can also experience our other Food programs first-hand by participating in our Community Lunches (Mon-Thurs 10-1:30pm), our bike-powered affordable mobile market called Gordon Greens (Thursdays 9:30-12:30), or the Produce Market at the Community Food Hub (Fridays 9-12pm). They can also come farming at our 4 urban farm sites, to learn more about growing food farm to table.

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

I hope students will learn about…

  • Educational workshop planning
  • Communication and engagement with children and youth in a neighborhood house setting
  • Teaching food topics to kids in an accessible and fun way

I think students will come to appreciate:

  • Children’s viewpoints on food, how to ‘package’ activities and lessons in a hands-on fun way
  • What kids already know about food and healthy eating

Organizational Outcomes

  • Support in offering workshops in OSC that will teach children about healthy delicious food
  • A plan or guideline for future student project facilitators, with recommendations