Fuel Your Future is a new joint venture between Foodbank WA and Diabetes WA to help youth (12-18 years old) gain the skills and tools necessary to make good food choices. By teaching youth about the importance of eating well and taking an active role in food preparation, the Fuel Your Future program is helping your kids live longer, healthier lives at a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases later in life.
The Fuel Your Future program is mainly focussed on youth whose level of food literacy may not be up to that of their peers. They aim to engage with schools, parents and youth centres to get youth to participate in the face-to-face cooking workshops and online engagement activities.
The Fuel Your Future program has two components:
The first, is the face-to-face element involving six workshops where participants are taken through recipes step by step with a nutritionist. All ingredients and recipes are provided by Foodbank WA and the kids are able to eat what they’ve created at the end of the session.
In addition to the Fuel Your Future workshops, there is also an online component to the program. The website features a range of activities, recipes and food-related resources for teens and adults to use. Participants can sign up, login and tell people about the recipes they’ve been cooking.
The program also has an active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. Adolescents are encouraged to communicate with each other via these platforms and upload photos of their cooking to share with other users.
So why is this program so important for our youth?
Results obtained from the 2007-09 National Health Survey showed that 24.9% of kids aged 5-17 are overweight or obese. Boys made up 25.8% of this group, and girls 24%. Obesity in childhood means that these kids are then more likely to become obese adults.
Not only are there psychological problems associated with being overweight, but evidence suggests obesity is closely linked with the development of a number of chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular, endocrine and orthopaedic problems, hypertension and high cholesterol.
These conditions are detrimental to the health of WA’s young people, they significantly reduce their quality of life, put added pressure on our health system and decrease the productivity of the workforce.
This doesn’t have to be the road they take. If we change their fuel, we can change their journey.
If you want to find out how to get your school or youth centre involved – all the info is on the website – http://www.fuelyourfuture.com.au
The website is also full of easy to make, wholesome recipes that teens can use with their families. Check out the recipe Fuel Your Future provided The Breakfast Confidential for Banana Oat Cookies. YUM!