Cook Chill Chat nourishes Burmese community

Hear from Kelly Andrews, CEO, Healthy Cities Illawarra

Cook Chill Chat participant, Way Nan Shar

One of Healthy Cities Illawarra’s most loved programs, Cook Chill Chat, recently delivered vital food and nutrition education to Wollongong’s Burmese community.

The program has been adapted to help new migrants – it increases social connections as well as nutritional knowledge and cooking skills. I asked participant Way Nan Shar to share her experiences.

What is the best or most important thing you learned about healthy food in Australia?

There are many types of unhealthy foods in Australia. I get to compare between Australian foods and our food. I learned that it is very important to eat lots of fruits and include equal portions of different types of food in the food wheel.

What did you learn about your children’s health needs?

Children need proper lunch boxes and I also learn how to prepare them now. I also need to encourage children to eat all the five different types of food. I need to encourage my children to avoid sugary drinks and juices, and chocolate which can destroy their teeth. I learned that tap water is safe to drink and it is best thing to drink in Australia. I used to think that bottled water is better, but there are different types of bottled water, and they are not necessarily healthier.

What was your favourite food?

I like the wrap most because it is easy to prepare and contains lots of healthy and nutritious ingredients, such as cheese, egg, cucumber, lettuce.

What did you learn from the supermarket tour?

First, I learned how to use the self-checkout machine. I learned where to get the healthy and unhealthy foods.

I always need to look for stars on the food packages as the more stars the better they are. I also know where to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. I came to know that meats and seafoods are sold at different sections of the store.

I now know where to get some common Asian spices or even European food. I also learned there are various healthy and unhealthy cooking oils in the market, but olive is the best among them all.

We were shown how to buy good quality children’s lunch boxes, including the coolers and how to use them for different seasons of the year.

I know where to buy cheaper and fresher meats and seafood. I can easily locate where fresh milk is stored. I learned that there are different types of instant noodles and I learned where to get cheaper but healthy noodles.

It was great – I got familiar with the supermarket in just a few hours and now I feel more confident!

This Article was first published in The Illawarra Flame June 03 2024