Mums develop healthy tucker habit

Jearvis Graham, Leelin Bell and Layla Mackey can’t wait for the delicious chicken curry being prepared and cooked for lunch.
Jearvis Graham, Leelin Bell and Layla Mackey can’t wait for the delicious chicken curry being prepared and cooked for lunch. Tanya Easterby

LOCAL mums are learning the tricks of the trade when it comes to healthy eating.

The Yan Gari Tucker Project focuses on the traditional and contemporary food and cooking of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The cooking takes place at the Gympie South Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Playgroup.

Facilitator Alicia Robinson said it has been beneficial to mums and their kids.

"It's all about being able to cook healthy meals on a budget. Good nutrition is important throughout life, from the time we are born through to old age," she said.

Yan Gari, which means deadly tucker, ensures mums are equipped with knowledge in nutrition, food practices, food safety and personal hygiene.

Ms Robinson said there were also social benefits.

"We are cooking enough food so that we can all sit down and enjoy a hot lunch together," she said.

"There are plenty of leftovers for mums to take home for dinner which gives everyone a night off cooking. I have four kids to feed so I really appreciate this."

The project is funded by DATSIMA to support the North Coast Local Region Closing the Gap Action Plan which aims to improve the health of these cultures.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginals have a high percentage of chronic disease and nutrition plays an important role in reducing these risks.

Queensland Health worker advanced nutrition promotion and generalist Rhonda Wauchope said good eating habits were a key ingredient.

"Mums learn that cooking healthy is really simple and they can do it," she said.

"Because of that their children grow up with healthy diets and nutritional values."

Coloma Aboriginal Services Incorporated president Aunty Lillian Burke said it was hoped more projects would evolve in the future.

"The project has worked out really well."

"The ladies are all heavily involved and we are hoping to produce a recipe book in the future. I would like to see consultation with grass-roots people to create more projects."

All ladies involved will graduate next month.

"Our last cooking session is on the fourth of December," Ms Robinson said.

"Participants, family members and community members will be invited to the event."

Gympie Times

Topics:  food health

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