Guest article: BCUHB
Pupils and their parents or grandparents have taken part in an innovative cookery course at Brynteg Primary School in Wrexham developed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Public Health Dietetics team.
The course, Come and Cook with your Child, is adapted from the award-winning North Wales Come and Cook course. It enables four to five-year-olds in the school environment to work alongside their parent, carer or grandparent to build early knowledge on food, nutrition and practical cooking skills.
Sarah Powell-Jones, Dietetic Assistant co-leading the courses, said: “It has been wonderful to work in the school with the parents, grandparents and their children. So much learning has taken place during the last six weeks, not only by the children but also amongst the parents and grandparents.
“The children have learnt about food hygiene and kitchen safety, how to include more fruit and vegetables into their meals, and explored how to reduce sugar in their breakfast and lunchtime meals. Parents and grandparents have learnt these topics alongside their children, plus extra activities focusing on the eatwell guide, foods containing fat, fibre, sugar and salt, label reading, adapting recipes, shopping smart and menu planning.”
The course encourages children to enjoy taking part in the preparation of family meals and to explore and try new foods. Each session has a nutrition theme such as ‘five a day’ fruit and vegetables or healthy breakfasts and lunchboxes. The session begins with a story, followed by a carousel of fun activities for children and parents to choose from plus cooking and tasting food together.
Rachel Roberts, Dietetic Assistant also, co-leading the courses, said: “It has been truly action packed but they have engaged with us at every opportunity. We believe this course is special because of the opportunity it gives parents/grandparents/carers to come into school and work with their child for a couple of hours each week. We love hearing the discussions between the families about how the course is making a difference, and what they are trying out or changing at home each week.”
A group of children, parents and grandparents at Brynteg Primary school in Wrexham are amongst the first group of families to take part and complete the course.
Head teacher of Brynteg Primary School Rachel Connell, said: “The Come and Cook programme provided our younger children and their parents the valuable opportunity to work together and create healthy dishes from scratch. I have received positive feedback from both the parents and their children. They found the sessions fun and now have increased confidence, knowledge and skills, they are looking forward to replicating the meals at home.”
Come and Cook with your Child is due to run in two further primary schools across Wrexham and Flintshire this month with plans to deliver further courses in primary schools across the whole of North Wales in 2023 and beyond.
For more information, visit Public Health Dietetics Team webpage on the Health Board’s website.
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