Vegetables and school children may not seem like two peas in a pod, but a Peterlee shopping centre is working to change that.
Kiddy Cook Live was the latest event held by Castle Dene as part of its Health is Wealth campaign, which offered children and their families the opportunity to get hands on with food and experiment with various recipes such as cous cous salads, salad wraps and stuffed doughballs with homemade butter.
The Health is Wealth campaign, designed to provide people with the tools to take more control over their wellbeing, has seen the centre partner with a number of organisations over the last month ranging from Stop Loan Sharks to Health Watch County Durham.
Emma Lawn, director of Kiddy Cook Harrogate, said: “We had a fantastic day at Castle Dene teaching its little shoppers about where food comes from and how to prepare it.
“Encouraging children to eat well is so much more than just asking them to eat vegetables. It’s about evaluating the community and increasing exposure to different foods.
“Food intake is influenced by family eating patterns and through interaction with peers. Early food experiences can have a significant effect on food likes and dislikes and on eating habits in later life.”
The centre is now preparing for its run of events to mark National Careers Week, which will involve a number of local employers and higher education organisations such as Durham Works and Catch 22.
Suzanne Chaney, centre manager at Castle Dene, said: “Every year, we try to bring something new to the centre to keep our visitors entertained and ensure they want to keep coming back.
“The cookery classes were extremely popular and I am confident the sessions have inspired lots of families to do more home cooking with fresh and healthy ingredients.
“I am looking forward to launching our next series of events to mark National Career Week, which aims to promote education and job opportunities available in the region.”