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Cardiff University serves up family meal courses for Ely parents

08 August 2011

Parents have learned how to prepare healthy food which their children will actually eat, courtesy of a Cardiff University adult learning course.

The University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning ran free, 4-day community courses in Ely, titled Cookery and Healthy Eating for Families. Parents were encouraged to come along with their children to cook family meals as a social and educational experience.

The courses were held at Michaelston Centre Community Café by food and nutrition expert Teresa Filipponi. They 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 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."
Ava 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 Arrabito 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 at the Integrated Children's Centre so they can continue 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."

Cookery and Healthy Eating for Families is one of 40 courses which form part of the Centre’s ‘live local learn local’ community outreach programme, aimed at people from Communities First areas in Cardiff - Splott, Ely, St. Mellons and Butetown. Ranging from family history to edible gardening, the programme reflects the full breadth of the curriculum at the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning.