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New campaign for Mumsnet?

(18 Posts)
StStrattersOfMN Mon 31-Oct-16 21:35:24

TAAT and on the back of the diabetes comments from JustineMN.

Time after time it's been commented on threads that we need to get back to teaching ALL children how to cook, meal plan, run a household. We talk about healthy eating, people like Jamie Oliver try to bring healthy eating into school meals, governments run initiatives like the 5 A Day, but what is being overlooked again and again is that there are so many people who literally cannot cook, have no idea how to prepare a healthy meal, how to cook cheaply AND nutritiously.

How's about a campaign for all school children to be taught how to cook properly. Not a 'toasted sandwich', or a pizza on a shop bought base, but proper techniques, actual healthy meals, from preparing a salad, to a roast dinner, vegetarian versions, 101 things to make with a red lentil. So when they leave school they are able to provide meals that are balanced and healthy, but don't cost a fortune. There's no point teaching them how to make a lasagne if they can't afford the ingredients, but there's every point in teaching them how to make a meal from a 20p pack of spaghetti, a 30p tin of tomatoes, and a handful or two of lentils (Asda prices, just done my online shop).

DrScholl Mon 31-Oct-16 21:38:15

lentils are gopping though

CurlySusanFox Mon 31-Oct-16 21:39:32

Good idea

StStrattersOfMN Mon 31-Oct-16 21:48:10

Lentils are not gopping if they're part of a proper recipe. And they're really healthy and very cheap.

TheFairyCaravan Mon 31-Oct-16 21:51:47

I agree with you.

DS1 got a very high A* in food tech GCSE 5 years ago fuck I'm old but he didnt actually learn how to cook meals. I taught him that at home. It was completely different to the Home Economics we were taught in the 80/s.

Lovefromhull Mon 31-Oct-16 21:57:49

You need to blame the exam boards and education departnent- schools will teach what they need to pass an exam.

lovely123 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:29:34

We teach our kids at home, they simply watch us or search online for recipes and we cook together. With so many resources available it is so easy, even for those who cannot cook anything too complex.
My 12 yr old can do a chicken curry, rice, omelette, prawn stir fry, all by watching us cook.
It is not that hard.

sh700 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:32:31

Yes but lovely what about those households where parents can't/won't/don't cook from scratch. It's about teaching the next generation to break the cycle of poor diets.

frikadela01 Mon 31-Oct-16 22:50:38

It's a good idea op. I also think there should be more emphasis on cooking on a budget that is a bit more imaginative than bulk out meals with lentils. Or Jamie Oliver's idea of cooking on a budget that assumes everyone's cupboards are heaving with a variety of herbs and spices, I seem to recall sweet smoked paprika featuring in a few of his recipes from the money saving meals series, aside from not being available in all supermarkets it's usually at least £2 a go.

scaryclown Mon 31-Oct-16 22:57:23

Its interesting that a lot of healthy eating social marketing campaigns are in fact funded by processers (the guys who 'add value' to ingredients by factory processing them and selling with several margins covered along the way. Thats one if the reasons focus is less on cooking and more on 'choosing healthily' from branded processed products.

I totally agree as cooking is a bit like secret magic when you are on either health kick or budget kick or both.

WorraLiberty Mon 31-Oct-16 23:14:09

This must be an area thing because all the senior schools in my (very poor area) do teach kids how to cook, bolognese, curry, stews, chilli and lots of other meals that can be cooked on a fairly low budget.

Then they send them home with instructions on how to cook rice/spaghetti, because there just isn't time during the lesson.

No way would they have time to learn to cook a roast dinner though and many parents already complain about the cost of ingredients as it is.

The primary schools all have gardening clubs where the kids learn to grow vegetables etc and it's given to the cookery club.

By far the biggest problem around here (and many other poor areas), is that the high streets are literally packed full of cheap chicken, kebab and pizza shops.

They're ridiculously cheap to begin with but then they have a 'happy hour' between 3pm and 4pm every day (so when the local primary/ senior schools are emptying out), where 1 piece of chicken and a portion of chips is £1 angry

I actually could not count the amount of kids who come by my school crossing, eating fried chicken and chips but I can tell you that it's unusual not to see them eating it.

So the already overstretched schools with their overworked teachers are already doing everything they can to combat obesity here, but the local councils seem to not give a shit, and grant planning permission to anyone who wants to open yet another junk food shop angry

Sorry for the rant blush

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Mon 31-Oct-16 23:34:07

Wow... schools have to teach kids normal living skills?? again?

Where will they find more time to teach above what is already taught?

PumpkinsOnTheMantlepiece Mon 31-Oct-16 23:40:03

For anyone who wants to do it at home, there is a resource on sainsburys active kids that is cooking awards for kids. The whole thing is there and it focuses on glanced meals, healthy meals, preparation etc and goes from primary to secondary. You can also order the certificates if your kids like something to work toward.

Amalfimamma Mon 31-Oct-16 23:57:33


I think that's a great idea. Planning ahead is actually a great way of saving and not wasting food as you know exactly what you need each day/week.

Cooking at home actually costs less per meal with the correct planning and sticking to that plan, buying special offers etc.

As for asda tomatoes and pasta......their own brand pasta is made near where I live and is great quality, as are their own brand tomatoes, I actually know the owners of both factories and use their pasta and tomatoes here in italy. They also do sainsbury and tescos own brand pasta and tomatoes too as well as some of their tinned veg.

I just did a quick asda online shop to stimulate the price of what I need for this week's meal plan (breakfast, lunch of a pasta or rice dish followed by a meat or fish with veg, and dinner of a meat and veg or salad plus fruit for snacks and after meals) for 2 adults one child and a weaning child, plus Saturday night where we have 6 friends and their DC (1 per couple) over for the afternoon and dinner and Sunday where we have the family over so 14 people and we have starters, pasta, meat, veg, cake and fruit.

Using own brand and special offers I spent £70. Sunday to Sunday.

OlennasWimple Tue 01-Nov-16 00:12:26

I agree - we are teaching DS things like how to peel and chop vegetables, but he's in a definite minority amongst his Yr6 friends

StStrattersOfMN Tue 01-Nov-16 09:54:38

When DD1 went to uni, she was the only one in her flat who could cook, some of them were, quite literally, confined to toast and ping meals.

lovely and Mum, not being able to cook appears to be more the norm than being able to. Yes, it should be something you're taught by your parents, but if they can't cook it's not going to happen.

Being able to produce healthy balanced meals is more than a life skill, it's necessary for a healthy body, and we are already struggling to tackle obesity.

Lovefromhull Tue 01-Nov-16 10:14:52

It's already taught in schools. The government are narrowing the curriculum, but it's still viewed as important. The last government allocated 24 hours of cooking for each child while at school. But academies can do what they like. I'm not sure telling schools off for our poor diet is the way to go.

StStrattersOfMN Tue 01-Nov-16 10:55:51

Not enough it's not taught. I'm talking about starting at primary age, and making it a compulsory once a week lesson right through until leaving. So every child enters the adult world with the ability to cook properly.

Worra, I wish that your scheme was countrywide, that's exactly what I'm talking about - and, incidentally, what I experienced when I was at school - and I went to school in the same county as you live in. If that was rolled out from primary age throughout the whole of the uk, I'm sure that would help.

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