Thousands Of Children To Receive Free Cooking Courses This Summer



  • Mums and dads will have life made a little bit easier this summer thanks to new cooking courses for 4,500 children across the UK.
  • The fun courses will help tackle fundamental gaps in children's kitchen knowledge.
  • The courses have been launched at the same time as research that finds over two thirds of parents worry that children are growing up without basic cooking skills and 75 per cent of children have never boiled an egg.
  • Thousands of mums and dads will have their lives made easier this summer thanks to a brand new series of special Farm to Fork Cooking courses for children.


The courses will be run jointly with The Children's Food Trust and will take place in 50 Tesco stores right across the country every week throughout August. An estimated 4,500 children aged between 5 and 13 will take part.

As well as providing something educational, fun and free for children to do in the summer holidays, the courses will help tackle fundamental gaps in children's knowledge about cooking tasty meals and snacks.

According to research commissioned by Tesco published today, despite the popularity of TV cooking programmes over two thirds (nearly 67 per cent) of mums and dads worry that children today are growing up without basic cooking skills and food knowledge.

And over half (52 per cent) admit they spend significantly less time cooking for their children than their own parents did, despite the fact that more than half of mums and dads (just over 51 per cent) are worried about the long term impact of diet on their children's health. More than nine out of ten (93 per cent) secondary school teachers are also shocked by the minimal knowledge about food their pupils have.

The research also found that that fewer than half (47.9 per cent) of schoolchildren have turned their hand to basics like chopping food with a knife, three quarters (75 per cent) have never boiled an egg and seven out of ten (71 per cent) have never cooked pasta.

The Farm to Fork Cooking courses, part of The Tesco Eat Happy Project, will help give children the skills in the kitchen to cook a variety of healthy, nutritious meals from couscous salad to mango chicken pittas and tasty tomato pasta.

Chris Bush, UK Managing Director for Tesco said:

“School's now finished for the summer, and I know mums and dads around the UK will appreciate having something fun and free to keep kids entertained during the holidays. I know these courses will be great fun, kids love learning about food, but they will also help children learn more about their food – where it comes from, how to prepare it, and of course how to cook it.

“We've taken over a quarter of a million children to Tesco stores, farms and factories as part of The Eat Happy Project to help children understand more about where their food comes from, and the natural next step is helping children find out about different ingredients and how to cook with them.

“We hope these courses will make a real difference in helping the next generation lead healthier lives.”

Linda Cregan, CEO of the Children's Food Trustsaid:

“An important part of The Eat Happy Project is learning how and what to cook for a healthy balanced diet, a crucial life skill. Helping children grow confidence in the kitchen and learn more about healthy eating is a something we've been doing for seven years through our national network of 5000 school and community based cooking clubs.

“Our partnership with Tesco allows us to reach even more children and their families. Our team is going to be cooking with youngsters in 50 different stores across the country throughout the summer and from our experience we know how hands on cooking sessions encourage children and their families to try new food and eat more healthily making a real difference to their lives."

Tesco's Eat Happy Project is part of a much wider ambition to help children live healthier lives. Billions of calories have been removed from Tesco food ranges, and Tesco will be the first major retailer to remove sweets and chocolate from checkouts across all stores by January 2015.

As part of The Eat Happy Project, children can also take part in Online Field Trips, which allow classes of primary school children to talk to food producers and suppliers around the world from their own classrooms.


For more information, visit www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk; www.twitter.com/childfoodtrust; www.facebook.com/childfoodtrust; the Children's Food blog and the Food in Schools blog.

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