Chef Michael Van de Elzen is taking his cooking skills out of the kitchen and into the classroom to teach children the importance of healthy eating.
“We can’t stand up here and preach to kids otherwise they’re going to be like, who are you telling me what to do?” Van de Elzen said.
“We have to do it in a way where we are connecting with the kids.”
He sayid that was how The Good From Scratch tour and cookbook was born.
Van de Elzen wants to raise awareness of child obesity, which affects one in eight Kiwi kids, and he’s taking his message to 47 primary schools across the country, including Pillans Point School in Tauranga.
“I’m doing food that they know and recognise. Things like my Morning Wake Up Shake, sausage rolls, cauliflower fritters and poppy seed chicken which is like crispy chicken – and what kid doesn’t like crispy chicken?”
At Pillans Point School, Van de Elzen showed kids the amount of sugar in fizzy drinks and gave them a healthy substitute – water, honey and raspberries.
And he was able to deomnstrate the importance of healthy kai because he knows first hand the effects of bad nutrition.
As a top chef, Van de Elzen lived an unhealthy lifestyle.
He and his wife were unable to conceive children naturally, going through two rounds of IVF. After making radical changes to their lifestyle, their two beautiful daughters Hazel and Ivy were born.
“If we didn’t change the way we lived, we wouldn’t have those little sausages now,” he said.