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Latest editions of Yhunger cookbooks released

New recipes included to showcase the District's cultural diversity. 

yHunger Cookbook
SydneyConnect Image: A dish from the latest cook book

The latest editions of two Yhunger cookbooks have been published, with new recipes included to better reflect the cultural diversity of young people living in and connected to Sydney Local Health District.

First published in 2002, Reheat! A Cookbook for Young People, and its 2013 companion, Made Fresh - More Mad Feeds, are step-by-step guides that include recipes from the basics - like how to boil an egg - to more substantial meals.

The cookbooks provide handy tips about shopping, equipment, cooking, food storage and food safety to help young people out along the way.

In the latest editions, six new recipes from Sydney's refugee communities are included - two Iranian dolmas, an Aleppo omelette from Syria, an Iraqi fattoush salad, a Congolese beef and cabbage stew and a Karen congee or rice porridge.

"We wanted to increase the range of recipes in the cookbooks that were culturally inclusive and improve the cookbooks' relevancy, particularly for young people from a refugee or refugee-like background," Rowena Yamazaki, a community nutritionist with the District's Youth Health Service (Youthblock), said.

Rowena helped to develop the new recipes with community members in collaboration with Eloise Le Compte, a dietitian at the NSW Refugee Health Service in Liverpool and Anna (Rosie) Taranto, Youthblock's health promotion officer.

The development of the recipes transitioned from face-to-face to remote because of the project was undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The recipes were identified with the help of bilingual community educators and multicultural health workers and trialled intensively to describe methods and quantify ingredients - that would usually happen naturally if we were together in a community kitchen or cooking group. Student dietitians helped us analyse costs, ease of preparation, alignment with the Australian Dietary Guidelines and appeal to young people," Rowena said.

Funding the new recipes was provided by the NSW Refugee Health Service, the Health Promotion Service at South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and Community Health Services at Sydney Local Health District.

Two thousand copies of each new edition cookbook have been printed.

The cookbooks are being provided to young people aged 12 to 25 accessing NSW Health, education and community services, as well as marginalised young people participating in the Yhunger program.

The Yhunger program aims to help young people who are experiencing homelessness, or who are at risk of homelessness, to develop living skills in healthy eating and physical activity.

It also aims to build the capacity of the youth sector to support young people to improve their health and wellbeing.

Rowena and Eloise delivered a poster presentation on cultural diversity in Yhunger cookbooks at the Dietitians Australia 2022 Conference in Adelaide, South Australia.

The Yhunger team would like to thank photographer Richard Weinstein, food stylist Janet Mitchell and designer Linda Chang for their help bringing the new editions of the cookbooks to fruition.