The Hands-On Cook-Off contest is celebrating 10 years this spring of encouraging families to get cooking.
“This is a contest that’s put on by Better Together, which is an organizer devoted to trying to get families to cook together, to eat together, to make that whole experience a bit more social,” said dietician Tristaca Curley.
To enter the contest, B.C. residents are encouraged to find friends or family and choose a recipe to make together.
“What they’re looking for are videos of three minutes or less that just show people cooking together,” Curely said. “It can be anything that you want to cook.
“Have fun doing it. Upload it and there are some really great prizes.”
There are two categories for the contest: multi-generational submissions and youth submissions.
Each category will have a grand prize ranging from $500 to $1,000, as well as runner up and people’s choice prizes.
If your video isn’t chosen, don’t despair. It may still win a prize through the random draw for $500 in cash.
Curley has two young boys, Caeden and Conlan, who love to prepare meals and bake with her.
“They’ve been cooking since they could sit up,” Curley said. “They’ve always enjoyed it and it just gives them something to do.
“I find that when they’re involved in the process, they like what comes out as well.”
The dietician is a stickler when it comes to families eating together.
“We end up eating healthier — parents and kids,” Curley said. “Kids who eat together with their family five times or more per week tend to have better mental health.
“They tend to do better at school. They tend to engage in less risky behaviours like substance use. They report better self-esteem.”
A tip that Curley offers to parents is to spend time every week planning meals in advance.
She also believes that including children in meal decisions has a positive pay-off.
“Getting them involved in having a choice for what we eat,” Curley said. “There’s a bigger buy-in and a lot less picky eating when we do it that way.”
As for the Hands-On Cook-Off contest, there are specific instructions on how to record and upload video submissions that can be found on the Better Together website.
The contest began April 15, 2019, and will close on May 15, 2019.