Campus Life  

Okanagan College instructor ready to change the way kids think about food

Okanagan College Media Release

Kelsey Galt, holistic nutritionist, owner of Basket Case Picnics and instructor for the College’s Camp OC, has always been interested in eating healthy and staying fit. She attributes this interest to her upbringing and the fact that she has been an athlete for much of her life.Kelsey Galt June 2016

“I was a competitive snowboarder – to compete at that level you need to take care of your body and ensure you’re getting the right nutrition,” says Galt.

After her snowboarding career ended, Galt thought about becoming a dietician but decided to study holistic nutrition instead. She was drawn to the principal philosophies of the field: prevention over treatment, and the idea that each person deserves an individual and holistic approach.

“Holistic nutrition is about so much more than simply food – although of course, that’s a large part of it – the idea that food can be healing. We also look at supplements, and lifestyle is a major piece of the puzzle,” Galt explains.

Galt graduated in March from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Vancouver, after completing a two-year program. During her studies, she deepened her understanding of the role food plays in our health, as well as learning how many physical symptoms are rooted in stress and how important it is to include activities like yoga that help “de-stress.”

“I think many people have lost a connection with food because of the fast-paced environments we live in,” says Galt. “We really only scratch the surface when we talk about ‘this food is good for you, this food isn’t.’ That’s not enough. My goal is to educate people about how essential food is to their health and help them get back in touch with their connection to the earth and where food comes from.”

How does Galt plan to achieve this goal?

“We’ve got to start with kids. That’s why I’m so excited to be teaching kids at Camp OC this year,” she says, in reference to the two camps she’s teaching: The Independent Chef and Travelling Taste Buds. “We’re going to start in the garden and see where food comes from. The kids are going to pick it, chop it, prepare it and ultimately enjoy it more. I think it’s crucial that kids develop that sense of pride and feel like they’re in control.”

The Independent Chef runs July 18 to 22 at Okanagan College’s Vernon Campus for kids entering grades 4-7. Travelling Taste Buds runs August 8 to 12 at the Vernon Campus for kids entering grades 4-7. Galt plans to share with campers her love of food from other places that she developed while travelling all over Europe, as well as the experience she’s gained working in the food industry for years.

With her mother Chris as mentor, Galt has run her own custom catering business – Basket Case Picnics – for the past four years. Basket Case Picnics started out in farmers’ markets with a food truck, branched into private catering, and is now a Culinary Service Partner with Okanagan College – offering daily food services and event catering at the Kal View Café.

“Kelsey is definitely impressive,” agrees Cindy Meissner, program coordinator of Camp OC in Vernon. “She has the education and the experience to back her up – much like many of our Camp OC instructors actually.”

Meissner explains how all Camp OC instructors match industry experience and expertise with a camper’s area of interest. For example, the instructor for Jr. Passion for Fashion is a Canadian designer and owns her own design and retail store; and, a professional photographer will be teaching the “Kids with Cameras” camp. The Camp OC instructor for “Metal Fabrication” and “Building with Wood” is a SD 22 industrial teacher.

“But I think what makes Kelsey unique is her obvious passion for what she’s doing,” says Meissner. “Whether it’s serving up delicious food in the Kal View Café here on campus or arming kids with that oh-so-important life skill of cooking for themselves. Kelsey really is on a mission to change the way we think about food.”

More information about Camp OC Okanagan College is available at www.campoc.ca

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