Youngsters get the taste for cooking – and healthy eating

TASTY Two-year-old Lyra Harris tucks into some food at the Merry Go Round centre. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132797-5636)
TASTY Two-year-old Lyra Harris tucks into some food at the Merry Go Round centre. Picture: Malcolm Wells (132797-5636)
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MUFFIN pizzas and shape-cut sandwiches were the dishes of the day as children at a day centre got stuck into making a mess as part of a healthy eating scheme.

The cookery initiative, started by the Merry Go Round centre in Wickham, is designed to encourage children to eat food that is good for them by getting them involved in cookery.

Centre co-ordinator Rebecca Reeve, who runs the Action for Children centre, said that by getting children involved in learning about healthy food at an early age was vital in avoiding obesity in later life.

She said: ‘The children are having a field day making shape sandwiches with the cutters provided by Sainsbury’s.

‘They love it and whatever they learn to make here at the centre they tend to carry on making at home.

‘It is a fab way to get children to eat healthy food they would not normally touch.’

Action for Children approached Sainsbury’s in Broadcut when the scheme proved so successful they 
needed a sponsor in order to continue running the cookery lessons free of charge.

Linda Langdon, from Sainsbury’s in Broadcut, said the supermarket chain was more than happy to step in and provide the ingredients as part of their own healthy eating programme.

Linda, who drops the ingredients off herself every week said: ‘It has been a wonderful morning seeing all the children having so much fun dressed in their little chef hats.’

The scheme is designed to be affordable as well as fun, and Sainsbury’s tries to use ingredients from its basics range so parents on a low income can carry on the healthy five-a-day eating plan at home.

Other tempting treats on the menu include caterpillar kebabs, made up of grapes and chocolate drops, fruit salad cones made with mini marshmallows, apples, pineapple, strawberries and yoghurt, and fruity pancakes made with blueberries.

Smoothies are a smash, along with sunshine burgers, fruit fools and easy cheese frittata.

Rebecca praised Sainsbury’s for stepping in and supporting them and urged other parents to visit them at either the Merry Go Round centre in Wickham, Little Petals in Bishop’s Waltham, or Happy Valley in Denmead to see how Action for Children can help them.

Rebecca can be contacted on 07872 503934.