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Food truck's tasty fare paired with healthy eating advice

Thursday 24 February 2022 2:11pm

foodtruckmainAssociate Professor Katherine Black (Acting Head of Human Nutrition, front) with Dr Ali Hill (left), and Professional Practice Fellow Nichola Agnew

An enticing mix of tasty food and healthy eating advice is on the menu of the Department of Human Nutrition’s new food truck.

The brightly painted truck bridges the gap between theory and practice, providing students with a mobile venue to cook food and connect with the public.

It is the logical extension of a paper which included a requirement for students to design a theoretical food truck, paper co-ordinator Dr Ali Hill explains.

“It gives us a lot more flexibility in terms of giving the students a real-life experience but also being able to go out into the community. It’s awesome, the opportunity to go out and do real-world application of the theory,” she says.

Due to make its debut in O-Week, the truck has been parked under COVID-19 rules but once restrictions ease it will be serving up food and advice in a variety of scenarios.

“You might have somebody interested in public health so that would be about promoting how you can make food quickly, cheaply and also healthily. Changing some of those misconceptions that there are around nutrition,” Dr Hill says.

Students on school visits will be able to use delicious dishes to help reinforce the healthy eating information they are communicating to pupils.

“We want to go into the community, and we want it to be very engaging. Having something that is very formal is not necessarily the way to go for that group that you want to talk to. So we thought this is the most fun way that we could do it.”

A mix of undergraduates studying food service environments [HUNT244] and postgrads covering food service skills [HUNT444] will be making use of the truck, which was sourced from Christchurch and painted by Lyttelton artist Jonny Waters.

Any leftover food will be donated to KiwiHarvest, which distributes excess food through the community.

“The students love that aspect of it, that their food will be going somewhere really meaningful,” practicals co-ordinator Professional Practice Fellow Nichola Agnew says.

Acting Head of Department Associate Professor Katherine Black is excited to see the truck in action.

“Food trucks are so in fashion at the moment it seems a really nice way to get students to practise their cooking skills in a modern environment.”