• The Koori Kids Kitchen Tales cookbook launched today
The Koori Kids Kitchen Tales cookbook has been launched in Redfern today as part of a 13 week program funded by the New South Wales Government
Malarndirri McCarthy

12 Dec 2013 - 3:02 PM  UPDATED 12 Dec 2013 - 6:02 PM

The bush tucker-inspired recipe collection was created by 15 Koori kids as part of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) cooking program.

The students involved selected recipes passed down from their ancestors to be featured in the book.  

"We found through the project the connection between our students, young people, their family and elders, to be something that we underestimated as to how important that was. So we found students researching their family histories and having conversations that they may not have had with mum or nan or great-nan in the case of some students," said Chief Executive Officer of NASCA Leanne Townsend.

The $30,000 three-month cooking program also aims to encourage healthy eating.

The latest Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey revealed the increasing obesity rates among Indigenous communities.

In 2012–2013, two-thirds (65.6%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over were overweight or obese according to their body mass index.

As a result, key individuals are urging young Indigenous Australians be more food wise.

"These are really important life skills. If you look at the obesity crisis we are facing in the western world, I think a major cause of that is because people don't understand what they are eating. Like in the good old days when you were helping your mum in the kitchen and cooking and preparing and then eating healthy food, then that's a genuine life skill that will help you for the rest of your life," said New South Wales Aboriginal Affairs Minister Victor Dominello.

Current students involved are from Tempe, Marrickville and Alexandria Park Community schools, and their interest in the hospitality industry have peaked as a result.

NASCA's cooking program is expected to include Dubbo next year.