Food Skills Expert

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Are you interested in joining a Food Skills Network?

Food Skills Network Group
Many researchers, health professionals including community nutritionists and nurse educators as well as teachers have contacted me about a reliable food skills evaluation tool. 
There are many food skills experts out there! It has been great to exchange updates, resources and information to progress our understadning of this important area.
Please let me know if you are interested in joining in on the fun- contact me for more information.

Community Nutrition in Canada
Over the last few months I have had made several new contacts from Community Nutritionists and Nurses working with people in community programs in Canada. 
There has been a great deal of activity mostly in response to these health professionals searching for tools to support their community programs.

Tracy, a community nutritionist in Vancouver

I have been a Community Nutritionist working at the Vancouver Island Health Authority in Victoria, British Columbia for 7 years now, and have worked on primarily individual and community food security related projects within the region.  

Recently, we have seen an increased interest and call from the community to develop individual & household food skills, and have been working on some proposals that would work to enhance and develop the food skills of the community as a whole (Community Food Skills).   I had been searching online for a working definition of food skills as well as a validated tool that would be a summary measure or indicator of food skills – this led me to you.  Your response has come at an opportune time, and I would very much like to take a look at your “Food Skills Rating Checklist” and discuss a variety of potential community settings that we could apply this tool.  

I have attached a very rough concept of a “Food Skills Continuum” that I have developed for a recent food skills project.  I would be very interested in talking with you not only about your Checklist but also if you have a working definition of “Individual and Community Food Skills” and how community nutrition educators can work to move individuals through the continuum - I think that this is really missing in the literature as well.  

Lydia, a researcher and a community nurse who is currently working on her Masters is about to release a community food skills tool of her own which may be more applicable to those of you looking for an evaluation tool specific to community, rather than a school setting.

 My study actually created a valid and reliable tool to assess the food skills in a community.  I used the Ministry of Health Promotion of Ontario's definition of food skills which was also later used in a literature review associated with Health Canada.  Here is a link to that definition:

It is on page 36.

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