Eat Better Schools health and wellbeing

Nurturing children’s cooking talent with a Phunky Foods School Cooking Club

An after school cooking club is igniting children's passion for cooking healthy meals and uncovering talents they did not know they had.
Children at a school cooking club

Millbrook Primary School have recently set up an after school cooking club off the back of attending the Phunky Foods training day.

The club targets children who qualify for pupil premium. The pupils who attend are rotated each half term and chosen specifically by the deputy head to ensure everyone gets the chance to take part.

The children get to try a new recipe each week, and there is variation between sweet and savoury dishes. So far, the pupils have had a go at making healthy wraps, pitta pizzas, fruit kebabs and decorated biscuits, among others. Each of these recipes introduces pupils to crucial skills in the kitchen, such as the claw and bridge grips and basic cutting skills that can provide them with the tools and skills to cook a wide range of recipes. They also use a combination of cook and no cook recipes to give children an array of skills.

What pupils and teachers think of the cooking club

The staff leading the group have commented on the sense of pride they have noticed in the children when they have been able to make healthy recipes and the enjoyment they have had when learning basic cutting skills.

One Year 4 pupil commented, “I am excited to come back next week.”

Another pupil who had attended the club in a previous half term had told the teacher, “I miss food club. I wish I come all the time.”

The skills the pupils learn at Cookin Club are being taken home and practised with family members. Teachers commented, “the children are keen to show them the creations they have made at home, using the skills they have learnt from the Phunky Foods resource and the recipes they have been able to replicate.”

A Year 4 pupil said they were “going to make this [Eton mess] at home but with blueberries this time to see if it turns blue.”

The second member of staff who runs the club mentioned:

“I have really enjoyed running the club as I get to engage with pupils from all year groups and have fun with them when teaching them the recipe to make our end product. We have positive feedback from the children, and they come back the next week excited to see what we are making next. At first, I was not confident running this club due to my lack of cooking skills, but this club has upskilled me too, and I look forward to leading the club week on week.”

Helping to gain a healthy school rating

The club also helps the school get closer to achieving a healthy schools rating award by meeting more criteria in the food education section of the award and meeting some of the Relationship Health and Sex Education (RHSE) requirements by helping pupils gain knowledge in planning and preparing healthy meals.

The cooking club appears to be a big success at Millbrook Primary School, and they are hoping to continue the club moving forwards, changing the pupils attending each half term, to give all those who want the chance to participate.

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