Food for thought

SCHOOLCHILDREN now have healthy eating on their agenda because of new awareness projects in their classrooms.

As a result, pupils at Merrylee primary and Shawlands academy, especially, are becoming much more aware of what they eat.

The Merrylee youngsters entertained happy diners while at Shawlands the academy pupils recruited dinner ladies to improve their culinary habits.

At Merrylee, primary six and seven pupils running parallel sessions balancing curriculum topics side by side to promote healthy lifestyles. The pupils ran the projects entirely by themselves.

The boys promoted Fairtrade which culminated in a daffodil tea while the girls prepared and hosted a Come dine with me lunch.

Invited to the daffodil tea were senior citizens from Merrylee Lodge who enjoyed Fairtrade goods and scones baked by the boys.

The girls invited parents and friends to sample their culinary skills which created a buffet meal full of healthy choices followed by a dance performance (to burn off the calories, perhaps?).

Deputy head Caroline Deans said she was "so impressed by how confident they were in their cooking abilities".

Mrs Deans told The Extra: "Both boys and girls took the initiative and were incredibly enthusiastic in their preparation for what were two fantastic events".

Currently, two-hour practical cooking sessions are being run as extra-curricular activities for schoolchildren by NHS Greater Glasgow health board at Shawlands Academy.

It is one of five city schools where pupils will benefit from evening classes entitled Community cooks

This healthy eating programme rewards participants with a recipe book offering advice to families with children aged between five and 15.

Each course advises on making a breakfast to set you up for the day, on the pros and cons of snacking and understanding supermarket labels.

Bjarne Nielsen, who has worked with the community cooks programme since its launch last year, will be at Shawlands Academy passing on knowledge.

Mrs Nielsen enthused: "Feedback from both parents and pupils has been very positive.

"This project is a fantastic opportunity to encourage, not just children, but entire families to choose a healthier way of life".

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