Whiteley seven-year-old's cottage pie scoops food award

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD girl has been hailed '˜an inspiration' after she was crowned one of the family winners in the Big Cookathon 2016 to encourage people to eat more healthily.

Saturday, 4th June 2016, 6:00 am
Sophie Janes, seven, with her cottage pie

Sophie Janes, from Whiteley, who is a big fan of cooking healthy foods, was competing in the national event for the second year running.

The initiative, which has been organised and judged by the Children’s Food Trust since 2007, saw more than 22,300 people take part from across the country.

Sophie was tasked with creating a cottage pie for her mum, Maria Blanco, and dad, Ashley Janes.

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Sophie, who is in Year 2 at Sarisbury Junior School, had to dice onions and carrots and cook the mince and potatoes all by herself.

Mum Maria said: ‘She is an inspiration.

‘Sophie has always been very passionate about cooking and eating healthily.

‘She’s always around the kitchen asking to do the more difficult jobs, like chopping the vegetables, so I was really proud of her that she did all the cooking by herself.

‘Of course, I got nervous about letting her do it, but I watched over her and she did very well.’

Speaking about her cooking, Sophie said: ‘I feel happy, because lots of children entered and because I didn’t cut myself using sharp knives.

‘I feel a bit overwhelmed because I won it last year.’

Sophie re-entered the competition after finding out about it at Sarisbury Infant School last year.

She decided to go again with the aim to repeat her success.

Cottage pies were cooked across the country in kitchens everywhere, from schools and churches to hospitals and homes.

Linda Cregan, CEO of the Children’s Food Trust, said: ‘We’re so thankful that Sophie and her family wanted to join us in showing the nation how easy it is to cook and how much fun you can have in the kitchen.

‘Learning to cook is an essential life skill and when children eat better, they do better.’