The Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning ran a free, 4-day community course in Ely to help parents learn how to prepare healthy food that their children will actually eat.
Parents were encouraged to come together with their children to cook meals for their families as a social experience as well as an educational one.
Cookery and Healthy Eating for Families, which ran throughout June and July, was held at Michaelston Centre Community Café by food and nutrition expert Teresa Filipponi. It featured healthy and inspiring recipes for the whole family, plus hands-on cooking in the kitchen, followed by the all important taste-test by the children.
Teresa said: “It is important for parents to know the theoretical aspect of nutrition and healthy eating, but it is much more effective if we can pass on the ‘know how’ tools so they can learn how to do it for themselves at home and learn how to make the lifestyle changes to suit their own personal situations. Getting the children involved from the start of the process is also a good way of encouraging children to eat the end product as they get to see what goes into their meals and they get to play and experiment a bit with the ingredients.”
The combination of practical and theory based learning, whilst encouraging the children to get involved, proved to be a winner with the mums.
Joanne Thomas said: “My son Johnathan is dairy intolerant so it has been a good way to find recipes and learn how to adapt them to his needs. He really liked to see what went into the food we prepared and he is more up for giving it a try to see if he likes it.”
Lianne Coleman said: “I’ve enjoyed the hands on experience. I now know it is so much easier to eat fresh and it is so much more fun for me and my daughter. It brings back memories of my own childhood.”
Helen said: “I’ve enjoyed spending time with other mums and children and I’ve learnt so much about food from other countries. Now I know how to cook a lot more food from scratch I will definitely change my ways. I have even made pasta from scratch for the first time so I can now impress my Italian husband!”
Teresa Filipponi also worked closely with members of staff that at the Integrated Children’s Centre so they are able to continuing to run Cookery and Healthy Eating for Families in September. Teresa said: “Four established members of staff attended the course with the aim to carry on the course in September. This element of sustainability will allow families to continue to meet, swap recipe ideas and make even more food from scratch”.
This course has certainly proved that you can you can never have too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to family mealtimes – regardless of what the proverb says.
Cookery and Healthy Eating for Families has been one of 40 courses that are part of the ‘live local learn local’ community outreach programme, a programme aimed at people from Communities First areas in Cardiff, namely Splott, Ely, St. Mellons and Butetown.
Ranging from family history to edible gardening, the programme reflects the full breath of the curriculum at the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning, as well as introducing new areas to the curriculum.