Dig in! Smart eating cooking classes

…and 30 other new leisure programs starting this fall at Vaughan community centres

Food philanthropist Andy Muto has made meals for NHL players like Phil Kessel, Connor McDavid and James Neal. Residents can get the same star treatment in his new Smart Eating Cooking Classes for adults at Vellore Village Community Centre, where they’ll learn how to fuel their bodies with local, high-quality food while preparing breakfast, salads, snacks and dinner.

Chef Andrew Muto
Chef Andrew Muto

Professional hockey player or not, we all need food to perform and want to eat food we’re familiar with and enjoy, otherwise we’ll cheat says Andy. In the meal plans he puts together, there’s no cheating –just what he calls a “dalliance” from the ordinary (think poutine with mushroom gravy and organic cheese).

Chef Andrew Muto with Connor McDavid, Brandon Tanev and Mark Scheifele
Chef Andrew Muto with Connor McDavid, Brandon Tanev and Mark Scheifele (© Jeremie Dupont Photography)

The self-taught wellness chef – inspired to create immunity-boosting foods after his child was born with a cognitive disability – says smart eating shouldn’t start as an adult. When healthy habits start young, they’re easier to stick to long term. It’s important to teach children to eat foods that make them feel better and make meals appealing suggests Andy, who motivates kids with fun foods like Shrek’s breakfast: pineapple mousse with baby kale. But smart snacks can also be simple; it’s the foods of our ancestry, such as fruits, seeds and nuts that have proven genuinely healthy after centuries.

Andrew Muto making buckwheat gnocci

Starting in September, the City’s Recreation Services department is offering a variety of cooking courses and workshops at community centres so residents of all ages can learn to eat smart – or simply put some thought into the food they eat. Registered culinary arts programs include:

Nutrition consultations, including a diet analysis and meal plan, are also available at Vaughan Fitness Centres for ages 13 years and up.

There’s more than 30 new recreational programs starting at community centres this fall and winter. From playing just about any sport (pickle ball included) to conducting science experiments, or learning Java, Vaughan’s 10 community centres and City Playhouse Theatre offer leisure programs for all ages, interests and abilities. Here’s a sample of some of the season’s new ones:

Bolly Move: Shake and stomp your way to a live Bollywood performance! Ages 4-6 years

Mandolin: Practice playing this historical instrument under the professional tutelage of the Ashkenaz Foundation Artistic Director and internationally renowned player Eric Stein. Ages 9-13 years

Young boy wearing a cowboy hat isolated on black playing the mandolin

Public Speaking 101: Learn to get over your stage fright by practicing public speaking – individually and in small groups – with instructor feedback on your speech style and mannerisms. Ages 11-14 years

Student giving speech during the presentation

Creative Journey:  Create drawings, paintings and pastels that improve spirit and emotional well-being. Individuals with special needs (specifically cognitive disabilities), ages 14-21 years

Hip Hop: Freestyle your way to fitness, learning the latest moves of the hottest hip hop artists. Ages 18 years and up

modern style dancer posing on studio background http://www.ayakovlev.com/lb/street.jpg

Chair Yoga: Destress and improve mobility gently while practicing yoga sitting on a chair or standing using a chair for support. Ages 60 years and up

Full length portrait of a happy senior man stretching leg

For those who can’t commit to a regular time, community centres also offer drop-in fitness and aquafitness classes, plus recreational swimming, sports, skating, and shinny hockey times. Starting this September, select community centres will have drop-in Games Rooms hours where older adults can play billiards, foosball, air hockey, ping pong, Xbox and Wii. Schedules are available at vaughan.ca/recreation.

Registration for fall and winter leisure programs and swimming leadership starts Tuesday, Aug. 23. Enrolment in swimming lessons starts Aug. 24-26, depending on pool location.

For registered leisure program information, view the 2016/2017 Fall & Winter Recreation eGuide, a digital publication with direct links to online registration. Recreation Vaughan Guides were delivered to residents in July. Copies are available at Vaughan community centres, libraries and City Hall. For assistance, call Recreation Services at 905-832-8500 or visit vaughan.ca/recreation.


Andrea Gyarmati

Recreation Services, City of Vaughan

Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at vaughan.ca.

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