Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 11.42.46We’ve all watched a Jamie Oliver cookery programme and thought ‘That looks delicious. I must learn to make that’ but then not taken the next step. Thanks to Isos teaming up with Jamie’s Ministry of Food, some lucky families from South Tyneside have had the chance to learn the art of cooking just like the nation’s favourite chef – and they have been surprised to find how easy it is.

The Ministry of Food programme is an easy, hands-on, 10-week cooking course delivered in partnership with Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light and Isos. Recently, children from Holy Trinity School in West Harton, South Shields, have had the opportunity to attend cookery classes there with their Mums and Dads, and they’ve been creating some mouth-watering but affordable meals.

For 10 weeks this autumn, the families have been learning to make a new, nutritious dish each session, getting vital tips about finding the right ingredients – and choosing alternatives if you can’t buy what’s in Jamie’s original recipe.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food campaign was launched with the mission of teaching people how to cook and eat to improve their long-term health and wellbeing. It is designed to be a practical and hands-on community-based cooking programme that teaches people of all ages how to cook from scratch.

All sessions use Jamie Oliver’s recipes and resources, specifically developed with nutrition and balance in mind. They aim to build confidence in how to cook tasty, affordable, nutritious meals for yourself and your family.

Another great advantage to the programme is that it allows parents and their children to spend quality time together cooking healthy, nutritious meals from scratch. The format of the programme means that the adults can practice their knife skills, understand how to adapt recipes and then involve the children directly as they get stuck in with the preparation and cooking of the food.

Each programme consists of a 10 session plan with recipes for dishes including: chicken fajitas, ‘cracking burgers’, risotto, vegetarian chilli and fish cakes. Isos is supporting the delivery of workshops in several of our communities around the North East including Prudhoe, Jarrow and Cleadon Park.

Sara Parker-Clark, team leader for community investment at Isos, said: “These classes have so many positive outcomes, and they make a real difference to the communities we support. People who take the classes can start to eat more healthily, and more cheaply, as well as gaining some impressive new skills. Working with recipes can also help with children’s numeracy.”

Matt Hill, Director of Families and Adults at the Foundation of Light said: “The Jamie’s Ministry of Food programme is excellent for helping families learn, have fun together and improve their health. Thanks to the support of Isos we’re able to make a real difference to families in South Tyneside through this initiative.”

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