Words by Smiley Team
FROM trying new foods for the first time to making new friends, teaching kids how to cook healthy and nutritious meals is a skill that will stay with them for life.
And it’s a skill that the charity Caring Cooks want every child in their home of Jersey to be able to develop.
Their Let’s Get Cooking programme puts cookery teachers into selected primary schools across the island and teams them up with children aged five to 11.
Starting with simple tasks such as using a measuring spoon and buttering bread, by the time they get to their final year in school many of the pupils are confidently making meals such as risotto for their families.
Melissa Nobrega is the charity's CEO. She explained: “It is becoming increasingly clear that individuals are becoming reliant on convenience food and are less able to cook healthy food from scratch.
“This is a major problem for future generations who may never learn basic cookery skills or the fundamentals of nutrition, because their families often don’t have that knowledge themselves. “With one in three children leaving primary school either overweight or obese, Caring Cooks wanted to do something positive to empower children and their families to live healthier lives and understand how to take care of their own wellbeing.”
Learning how to cook healthy, nutritious meals can not only be beneficial for children's health and wellbeing, but also for their future career choices. Making sure kids develop cookery skills from a young age is particularly important for an island like Jersey, where many jobs are connected to the hospitality and tourism industry.
Melissa added: “Hospitality is one of the major employers in Jersey, and at Caring Cooks we believe that imparting culinary education not only encourages wellbeing, but also begins to create a generation that can fill the many hospitality jobs on the island.”
Parents and children who have attended the programme have also seen a difference in how they eat as a family. One parent commented that their child now enjoyed foods such as cucumber, avocado, prawns and tomatoes while one pupil said they now enjoyed ‘helping mummy more’.
While the programme has been a success so far, Caring Cooks now want to be able to go to every primary school in Jersey and give every child the opportunity to learn how to cook.
Melissa said: “We have fantastic cookery teachers ready to deliver the lessons to schools, and schools who would love to come on board and participate, but we lack the funding needed to deliver the teaching.
“We would be grateful for any financial help or sponsorship as we would eventually love to deliver this initiative to every school in Jersey – giving every child an equal opportunity to learn and benefit from these lessons.”
To find out more visit caringcooksofjersey.com or find them on social:
Original Article by Jenna Sloan