Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Food Technology/Sport - Can't Cook, Won't Cook: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Food Technology/Sport - Can't Cook, Won't Cook: Resources

Article excerpt

Develop children's kitchen confidence by going back to basics.

Whether it is called food technology, home economics or just plain, old-fashioned home cooking, learning about food and how to prepare it is slipping down the school agenda. But we all have to eat and cooking properly is a fundamental life skill. How do we help children to do it properly and develop their confidence in the kitchen?

Starting at the beginning may sound obvious, yet you would be amazed by how many people I meet who can follow a recipe but do not understand the principles behind it.

At a recently launched campaign to get children cooking - 5by25 - I was shocked to learn that 90 per cent of young people cannot cook a simple meal. A couple of lessons on honing knife skills, learning about techniques like roasting or sauteing and showing how ingredients like flour and baking soda work can have a huge impact on students' capabilities, giving them a grasp of the basics and some tools to explore more innovative aspects of food preparation.

Cooking bread and pasta from scratch is a great way to put theory into practice and show how similar ingredients can be used to create different results.

Every year, I meet budding young cooks at schools and colleges across the country, and it is always those who understand basic cooking techniques and have been given some independence in the classroom who really shine. Make your programmes of study as flexible as possible. This gives pupils a sense of control and allows them to see the correlation between what they eat and its impact on the body. …

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