Hampshire County Council Catering Services (HC3S)

Welcome to the Cook and Eat Programme

What is “The Cook and Eat Programme”?

HC3S developed this programmed in partnership with Hampshire Primary Care Trust and Eastleigh Borough Council with the aim of using more local produce, reducing obesity in children and promoting the health and wellbeing of school children within Hampshire using school meal recipes.

The programme consists of six weekly sessions for children and their parents. Each session lasts 11/2 hours and the aim of the programme is that parents and children learn:

  • practical cooking skills
  • healthy eating tips
  • food hygiene and safety
  • how to budget and reduce food bills
  • how to create menus for the family.
HC3S is happy to provide the programme at primary schools, however schools will need to arrange the funding.

Why we developed a Cook and Eat Programme

We know that good nutrition in childhood can help:  

  • reduce the risk of poor health problems in later life, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer
  • children focus on learning at school
  • with the development of physical growth and mental abilities
  • improve children's behaviour in social surroundings
  • provide the confidence to deal with future life, e.g. working as individuals and/or as a member of a team.

Most children in this country eat too much saturated fat, sugar and salt and not enough fruit and vegetables.  The Cook and Eat programme provided the opportunities for young people/children and their parents to develop an interest in healthy living through cooking healthy balanced meals whilst in a fun environment.

These are reasons which led us to develop this Cook & Eat  programme.

Who can be involved?

Hampshire’s School Catering Service (HC3S), schools, school children, parents, school cooks, community dieticians and health promotion services.

This programme can be run as an after school club or in school time after school meals are finished.

What are the benefits?

For Children/Pupils

  • To have fun whilst learning something new
  • Learning about food and eating healthily in a practical way
  • The opportunity to develop an interest and confidence in cooking
  • The chance to create and enjoy what they have cooked
  • The chance to taste new foods
  • For some pupils the possibility of sparking interest in the option of a career in catering in the future

For Parents

  • Enjoyment of spending time cooking with their children
  • Regain the confidence to cook more at home
  • Getting satisfaction from teaching your children to cook, and eating a more varied selection of dishes
  • Useful tips on planning meals to cook at home
  • How to produce affordable and wholesome home cooked meals
  • The opportunity to experiment cooking different dishes with various food products that maybe available through local retailers.  

For Schools

  • Improve contacts between school, home and the community
  • Opportunity to show the school's commitment to extending the range of their extended curricular activities
  • Enhancing children’s knowledge and skills
  • Cookery clubs are a recommended activity in the government backed ‘Food in Schools’ programme
  • The programme can contribute towards schools achieving the national Healthy Schools status
  • The programme can help schools increase and improve school meal uptake
  • Help schools achieve current and potential new legislation in relation to school meal provision
  • Links to a range of curriculum subjects, for example:
    • English: reading non-fiction texts e.g. recipes
    • Mathematics: weighing, measuring and food budgeting skills
    • Design and technology: adaptation of recipes, presentation of food

For Health

  • Families adopt healthier eating habits
  • There is a reduction in nutrition related problems such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

For Food Producers, Retailers and Local Economy

  • Families buy locally available food products supplied by both local retailers and possibly grown by local producers
  • Retailers have opportunity to support local community
  • Local economy is sustained.

The Cook & Eat Toolkit  Download Adobe Reader to view this PDF 3MB for Schools explains more about the programme and what participation could mean for your school.
Recipes Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 455kb and certificates Download Acrobat Reader to view this PDF 51kb for the courses are also available for schools to use as they participate in these programmes.

If you are interested in running a Cook & Eat programme, please contact your Operations Manager or call the HC3S office on 023 8062 9388 or email hc3s.support@hants.gov.uk