Caterers teach family cooking at local centres

Katy Morton
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Parents are learning how to prepare healthier meals for their children in cookery sessions run by a catering company in seven Sure Start children's centres across the country.

Children's centres in deprived areas in Manchester, London, Bristol, Nottingham, Newcastle, Liverpool and Southampton are delivering the cookery lessons run by chefs from contract caterers ARAMARK.

They have been organised to coincide with British Food Fortnight from 18 September to 3 October, which the caterer sponsors, and follow on from visits to schools to teach children about British food and healthy eating.

The sessions will advise parents on where to buy British seasonal food and how to incorporate five fruits and vegetables a day into their family's diet.

Sessions are tailored to each centre and vary depending on what parents want to cook. In Southampton, for example, parents are being taught basic cooking skills such as how to make a roux and ragu.

ARAMARK chef Ben Andrews, who is currently delivering the courses at a Sure Start children's centre in Bermondsey, London, said, 'The lessons have been going great so far and classes have grown in popularity each week. The feedback I have received has been very positive, with many parents saying they have learned a lot and are looking forward to trying the recipes out at home.'

Val Carter, corporate responsibility director for ARAMARK, said, 'Supporting food education among the wider community is a big part of our ongoing CSR programme. We're proud to be involved with so many schools and workplaces this year and look forward to creating an even bigger buzz in 2011.'

The company is now considering delivering the cookery sessions in children's centres year-round.

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