Kids get cooking in Islington

A LOTTERY-funded cookery project will soon be causing a stir in Islington’s schools.

Eight schools will receive �2,500 over three years for equipment and ingredients to run their own cookery clubs, under the Let’s Get Cooking scheme.

They warmed up on Tuesday with a training day at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Language College (EGA), in Donegal Street, Islington.

Cornelia De Bruin, food technology teacher at EGA, said: “We want to teach children about healthy eating and how they can quickly and easily prepare a healthy meal, instead of going to McDonalds or KFC. It’s a life skill.”

Two teachers and four pupils from each of the schools took part, and had a chance to practice their classroom culinary skills.

Michelle Compton, of Let’s Get Cooking, said: “The aim was to get them really excited and motivated about going back to their schools and starting up the club.”

The pupils, from both primary and secondary schools, cooked a range of recipes.

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“We made soup and smoothies,” added Ms Compton. “Smoothies are a really good way of getting children to eat fruit they might not normally try. Then we made dips, and some of the secondary schools did advanced hot cooking – including omelettes, Boston-style bakes beans and fruit kebabs.”

All primary and secondary schools in Islington had been invited to sign up to Let’s Get Cooking on a first-come-first-served basis in May 2010.

The extra-curricular programme, which is held at lunchtime and after school, aims to give children and non-cooking parents of all ages the skills and confidence to cook nutritious and tasty meals from scratch.

Ms Compton added: “There was a really good atmosphere – it was buzzing. The children really enjoyed themselves and were excited about trying food they have never eaten before.

“It’s about giving children some skills they can take home and use at home.”