Helping school children to eat healthily

A family food scheme is aiming to take a bite out of child obesity, by serving up meals that are tasty as well as good for you.

The Healthy Cooking Programme, which is now in its eighth year, is designed to encourage children to make nutritional choices from an early age, by supporting families to develop their skills and confidence when preparing meals.

Delivered by Active Tameside in partnership with NHS Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care Foundation Trust’s Children’s Nutrition Team, it’s in place at community venues and 25 Tameside primary schools that are part of the Active Education programme.

Families with Key Stage 2 children (aged seven to 11) will benefit from sessions, which are taking place until July 2020.

Tameside Council’s Executive Leader, Cllr Brenda Warrington, said: "This is a marvellous programme and it’s fantastic to see so many schools involved. In Tameside, 37 per cent of children (34.3 per cent in England) are overweight or obese. 

"This programme will help our children and parents learn about buying, preparing and cooking more healthy meals, helping to reduce the high obesity rate in Tameside." 

Active Tameside’s Sports Coach Andy Williams added: "I like how the sessions have had a good impact on both the child and parents’ health and wellbeing. I have seen a difference in engagement with some of the pupils who attended the cooking classes and when speaking to them they have mentioned a change in the diet." 

The programme has certainly gone down a treat at Arlies Primary School in Stalybridge. 

Andrew Fletcher, Child and Family Support Officer at the school on Broadhill Road, said: “The healthy cooking sessions have really opened the parents’ minds and engaged them to make the right option when picking foods. The quick and easy to make meals are perfect for both parents and children to cook together.

“This is a good way of spending quality time with your child as well as taking care of your health and well-being. The staff who delivered the session were really helpful and approachable. We would recommend the session for any parent and child to take as we have had nothing but amazing feedback from both parents and children." 

To find out more about the programme, visit https://www.activetameside.com/healthy-cooking-programme-to-be-delivered-in-tameside-schools/.

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