Making food family fun

By Mark Rigby

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chef, Food standards agency, Food safety

As an industry we spend a great deal of time and money developing ‘healthy’ food solutions and menus for schools and support the ‘food’ education of children in school. However, once a child leaves the school gate there is very little support and, in many cases, that education stops when he or she gets home.

Despite the popularity of cooking-related television shows, many families lack the skills and understanding needed to deliver a healthy, nutritious and cost-effective meal. Suffice to say, it's the evolution of a fast food culture in the UK that has led to the 'obesity trap'.

That's why the Craft Guild of Chefs has developed a Food Appreciation Workshop in which professional chefs work with schoolchildren and then their parents or guardians to bring that education to a family environment making food fun again.

I say 'again' because, for me, this is the missing part of the jigsaw: we've lost our way with food in the home. This initiative harks back to the days when I used to make rhubarb pie with my Nan, from the clump of rhubarb that never stopped growing in the corner of her back garden.

While the main aims of the workshops are making food fun and developing a family bond through food, there are also a number of key criteria to weave through this initiative. These include ensuring the recipes fit into the Food Standards Agency's 'Each Well Plate' and that each dish is cost-effective it's pointless creating a dish that's more expensive than a high street takeaway.

The workshop should also take waste, storage and shelf-life into account, as well as basic food hygiene, health and safety, and allergens. Oh and, obviously, the end result should taste good!

Each course will be tailored to the culture and local community of the school and fit around hours to suit the families.

Mark Rigby is senior business development chef for Premier Foods.

Related topics: NPD, Ambient foods, Chilled foods, Frozen

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