The Healthy Eating ManualGetting Started
Encourage the exchange of ideas and the sharing of hints.
- You are the leader and facilitator not necessarily the nutrition expert! Don't put pressure on yourself to know all the answers. When you can't answer a question just say so. Refer the person the Registered Dietitians at EatRight Ontario or find the answer and follow-up with the person at a later date.
- People are more likely to learn in a relaxed and easy going environment. Have some FUN! Don't be afraid to crack a joke or admit to your own food quirks in a light hearted way. It helps to establish a rapport with the group and makes the learning experience enjoyable.
- Let participants learn from each other. Encourage the exchange of ideas and the sharing of hints. The shared information isn't always factual but the leader can usually build on the comment to deliver a positive message.
- When a contributed idea or comment ties in with the message, give emphasis to the message by giving the contributor a virtual pat on the back: "Great idea!" "That's a perfect example." "Great minds think alike."
- Don't ever put anyone on the spot. Hear from those who want to contribute and let others enjoy the session from the sideline.
- Each group you work with will be different. You will have to size it up to decide how to proceed with the learning activities. Sometimes you will have each participant work independently although this is not recommended in larger groups or where literacy may be an issue. Groups that are larger, more introverted, or where literacy may be an issue should be organized into informal working groups of 3 or more. Ask the group to choose a leader to keep things moving along. Pairing people is not a good idea ~ it puts those who are shy or have limited literacy on the spot.
- More information is available from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website: Tips for Workshop Leaders
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