Teens who have grown up in the child welfare do not have the benefit of parental guidance to teach them about healthy habits. Very often, they leave foster care at the age of eighteen without having learned important life skills necessary to build stable, independent lives. Many of them have little to no understanding of the value of nutrition, how to budget for groceries each month, or the skills and knowledge needed to make healthy meals for themselves.

Thanks to the corporate investment and the support of Loblaws’ “Give a Little” cause marketing campaign in Ontario stores, in 2019, over 540 young people were equipped with the critical life skills they need to make healthy choices.

More than 80% of youth who responded to a program survey felt more confident in the kitchen and ready to do more cooking and prepare healthier meals at home. Through these weekly workshops, they now feel that they have the tools to start their adulthood on the right foot – helping them to feel confident they can provide for themselves after moving out on their own.

“I liked the energy. The program leaders are so kind and caring. The trips we went on were so much fun and the things I learned are going to help me when I am older.  I met some cool people and learned some cool things about cooking and eating healthy.” – JAMES, Cooking Towards Independence Program Participant

We are thrilled to see these types of programs and interventions having positive impacts on youth as they are supported in building skills necessary to create healthy habits, reduce future nutrition-related health risks, and improve the overall physical health of young people.

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About The Author

The Children's Aid Foundation of Canada funds programs to help Canada's most vulnerable children and youth, those who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and neglect, overcome the obstacles in life that prevent them from reaching their full potential. We are committed to giving ongoing support to those who need it most.

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