Let's Cookalong encourages children to take taste buds on a culinary 'around-the world' trip
Four in five children agree they love cooking and making food, according to research from the Tesco Eat Happy Project. Yet, when asked which basic cooking tasks they had tried, from chopping to boiling an egg and making a salad the results were much less encouraging.
Less than half had turned their hands to basics like cutting food with a knife, a third (30%) had never chopped a vegetable, a figure that increases to three-quarters (75%) that had never chopped herbs. Two thirds (60%) had never made salad and three quarters had never boiled an egg.
Parents were also asked, and perhaps unsurprisingly, more than half of Mums and Dads are worried about the impact of diet on their children's health.
Children are very willing to get involved though – Nine out of ten of children whose parents teach them how to cook told us they enjoy it and 80% of all children said they love cooking and making food.
In spite of this, one in five children only help out in the kitchen twice a year or less.
In light of this, to help parents across the country, The Tesco Eat Happy Project, working with the Children's Food Trust, has launched a free online cooking series. Let's Cookalong, shows parents and children how to cook simple healthy meals together, great news for the 45% of parents polled who say they would like their child to learn to cook from them.
Taking taste buds round the world, the first series of Let's Cookalong episodes teaches recipes from falafel pittas in Morocco and chicken rogan josh in India to bruschetta in Italy. There is also a healthy dose of family favourites such as potato salad, spaghetti Bolognese and gingerbread shapes along the way.
The Let's Cookalong series is presented by trained cook and mum of two, Farah Larnauti, along with children aged between 5 and 11. She says; "I always have so much fun cooking with the children. As you will see, they will be noisy, silly and laugh lots but they will learn new skills… almost without realising they are being taught. The best thing is that children are more inclined to eat healthy meals once they have been involved in cooking them."
The Tesco Eat Happy Project is part of a much wider ambition to help children live healthier lives. The project is a long-term commitment to encourage children to learn about food provenance and the importance of having a healthy and happy relationship with food.
As part of The Tesco Eat Happy Project, children can also take part in Farm to Fork Trails, Let's Cook courses in store, Let's Get Cooking after school clubs and Online Field Trips, which allow classes of primary school children to talk to farmers and food producers 'around the world' from their own classrooms.
To take part in a Let's Cookalong tutorial, or for more information such as recipes, resources and activity sheets, visit the website tesco.com/eathappyproject/lets-cook.