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Our cooks fuel the Eden family!

Our Eden family really wouldn’t be complete without our incredible centre cooks. They’re skilled professionals passionate about making a positive impact on others’ lives through healthy eating and nutrition. In fact, through this passion, they instil a healthy relationship with food in the children through cooking workshops and activities as well as interacting with them daily. Because for our cooks, it’s not just about preparing meals; it’s about getting to know the children and what they like – or don’t like – and inspiring confidence in nutrition and healthy eating.

For Bardon cook Nicholette Wills, since her move into the kitchen at Eden, she has “never looked back“.

“I have worked in various kitchens for over 30 years, including running a family takeaway food business for 18 years, I like what food brings into all occasions and situations in life!”

Nicholette has spent most of her professional life working in a kitchen and after her most recent role in another childcare company, she felt disheartened and was not satisfied by how the company supported her in her position. She was referred to Eden by an ex-colleague, and on a whim, she went into the Bardon centre to check it out and instantly knew that she was made for this job.

It is Eden’s commitment to ensure that all of its employees feel valued and supported, regardless of their position within the company, which Nicholoette affirmed, saying “I feel appreciated and valued since working with Eden.”

“I am also grateful for the autonomy that Katherine (centre director) allows me to have. I am not micro managed, yet supported.”

A day in the life

A typical day for Nicholette starts by preparing fresh muffins for families to enjoy during the morning drop-off rush. She greets families as they pass her kitchen and chats with the children during this time. One of the most special moments of her job is delivering the food to the children before each meal. Every time she visits, the children are thrilled to see her and want to be part of the serving process as much as possible. Some days, she will jump into the learning environments to guide the children in a cooking experience where they will enjoy what they prepare as one of their meals. On other days, the children visit her at the kitchen window to check what she is cooking!

Eden academy cook prepares food

Building a strong foundation

You may be surprised that children who learn to cook are more likely to have a more positive relationship with food. A study by the University of Illinois “emphasises the importance of shaping children’s food preferences,” which our cooking sessions promote.

Of course, children are notorious for being fussy eaters, which is very normal all through childhood. However, with the slow and safe exposure to unfamiliar or disliked foods, this can be worked through, which our centre cooks assist children and families with. It isn’t just about teaching children about healthy food choices; it’s also about teaching them a valuable new skill and learning that they can actively participate in food preparation! Children develop a sense of self-reliance that will last them throughout life when they are involved with food preparation, especially when they are asked to help measure, mix and collect ingredients like the grown ups in their lives do! They feel proud of what they’ve accomplished when their dish comes out—and perhaps even surprised at how easy it was! Cooking is fun for children and the more children are exposed to a variety of foods, the more likely they are to try them!

When reflecting on her time so far at Eden, Nicholette said she hopes to “continue to learn, explore and introduce new and different foods to the children. I enjoy the cooking experiences I offer the children and will continue to interact with them in that way as often as I can!”

Cook Nicholette: changing lives, one meal at a time! | IMG 8293 scaled

Nicholette, we are so lucky to have you as part of the Eden family and appreciate your hard work and dedication this year.

Ready to make your next career move?

At Eden, we know how important it is to be recognised for your hard work and achievements. As both a Childcare and Kindergarten Service, Eden Academy has a wide variety of job opportunities all over Australia! Take a look at our current job vacancies.

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