Cucumbers and coriander help teach kids about healthy eating

An alternative summer holiday class in Church Street, Westminster has filled a community hall with the scent of coriander and cucumber as local children learn about healthy eating.

Organised by housing manager CityWest Homes, the ‘food art’ class has seen children aged between 6 and 11 years making pizza, bruschetta and fresh salads, and tasting herbs and vegetables.

After school club tutor, Emma Edmondson, who runs the free class, teaches the children about the differences between processed and homemade food and the health benefits of making your own. Each week the children learn a new cooking skill and a creative skill.

Afterwards, the children take recipes so they can recreate the healthy meals at home.

Participant Aala (10) said: “I’ve enjoyed making muffins and it’s also fun chopping the vegetables. I like trying the food afterwards too.”

In July, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced that two London boroughs will pilot a major five year programme, called Lighter London, aimed at tackling child obesity through better diets and food education.

Jennifer Hay, resident engagement officer at CityWest Homes, said: “The classes have been really popular and the kids absolutely love it.

“Child obesity levels in London are the highest in England, so these classes are helping to teach children healthy eating habits at an early age.”

Photo: Aala (10), Yanha (11) and Haytham (10) display their cucumber and mango salad.

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