JUST COOK Tika Tunu Programme

As lives get busier and if there is pressure on the food budget, families may struggle to eat healthy home-cooked meals. New ideas to feed the family are often welcome especially if the recipes are tasty and loved by the whole whanau.

JUST COOK Tika Tunu is a ~4-week programme developed by the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation that focuses on making healthy, affordable food choices, improving skills, motivation and confidence in family cooking.

The first Tika Tunu programme was held in 2016 in a Women’s Prison. Since then Tika Tunu has travelled across different regions in the North Island including Warkworth, Auckland, Rotorua and Te Urewera. The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation has supported Mahitahi Hauora to extend its work to deliver hands-on cooking programmes to vulnerable groups in Northland.

This fun practical, fun, interactive programme shows families that home-cooked meals can be cheap, quick and enjoyed by the whole family.

Upcoming programmes:


  • We potentially have programmes coming up in Nelson. Dates TBC.

If you would like to bring Tika Tunu to your community in the future, do get in touch with us.


Course outline: can be adapted to each community

Each session is 3 hours long. We begin with 1 hour of education and activities, followed by 2 hours of cooking, clean up and sharing of a meal.

Week 1: What is food?
The four food groups
The Healthy Plate Model
Kitchen Safety
Cooking: Chilli con carne (and veggie version) on rice with Mexican salsa salad

Week 2: Making your money go further
Stretching your food budget
Making meat go further
Exploring our recipe books and new ingredients
Using pantry staples
Cooking: Tuna pasta bake, coleslaw and stewed fruit

Week 3: Family foods
Improving takeaway meals
Making meat go further (using plant-based protein alternatives)
Exploring our recipe books and new ingredients
Using our pantry staples
Cooking: Kiwi burgers & baked wedges, green summer salad and chickpea patties

Week 4: Tweaking your favourite recipes
Cultural foods, tweaking favourite recipes
Healthy ingredient swaps
Label reading
Cooking: Group choice

Last modified: June 3, 2022