Residents learn healthy cooking skills through Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food

Healthy Heart of Victoria, a Victorian Government funded initiative aimed at improving health outcomes across the Loddon Campaspe region is helping residents to learn how to prepare simple healthy food through The Good Foundation which delivers the Jamie’s Ministry of Food online healthy cooking and eating program.

The program uses recipes created by Jamie Oliver to help participants learn basic, healthy cooking skills in a friendly, supportive and fun environment. The hands-on cooking classes demonstrate how easy and affordable it can be to make simple and nutritious meals from scratch using many items people already have in their pantry. 

Healthy Heart of Victoria has worked with residents and community organisations to provide free access to the online course for around 100 participants of all ages from locations across the region including Echuca, Maryborough, Heathcote, Bendigo, Pyramid Hill, Wedderburn, Inglewood, Romsey, Kyneton and Castlemaine.  Healthy Heart of Victoria also provided participants with cooking equipment and pantry staples to encourage them to continue cooking healthy food at home.

The next, free, online course will be a school holiday edition, focussed on fun, healthy cooking for families and children.  The one-hour online sessions will take place from 11am to 12pm on April 11, 12, 13, 19 and 20.  Interested Loddon Campaspe residents can register to participate for free by visiting or the Healthy Heart of Victoria Facebook page

Healthy Heart of Victoria Coordinator, Alicia O’Brien said the 2019 Active Living Census highlighted that only one in eight adults in the Loddon Campaspe region meet the daily vegetable consumption guidelines and that one in ten households in the region are food insecure.

“The Healthy Heart of Victoria Jamie’s Ministry of Food cooking course responds to these statistics by working with local community groups and organisations to implement a five-week tailored, online cooking course with community members to encourage healthy cooking and eating.,” Ms O’Brien said.

“The skills participants are gaining from the course will hold them in good stead to continue to cook and eat healthy meals as part of their everyday life and their feedback has been extremely positive.”

The Good Foundation CEO, Siobhan Boyle said, the program teaches participants the basics of food, nutrition and cooking, as well as some of Jamie’s special tips and tricks!

“Maintaining a healthy diet is always important, but beyond just teaching basic cooking skills it also increases confidence, independence and a sense of belonging,” Ms Boyle said.

“Independent reports, including a recent study from the Edith Cowan University have shown that our program increases participants’ cooking confidence, knowledge and attitudes, shifts behaviour change towards healthier eating, and also improves overall mental and general health.”

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