You are browsing the archive for 2013 July.

Cooking With Kids!

July 23, 2013 in Children & Play, Community Issues, Education, Families & Children, Health & Fitness, Latest Articles, News, Nutrition, Opportunities

The Mini Cooking Club has been a registered charity since 2012, providing free cooking workshops for families and children. We believe that food is a fundamental component to a happy life, and that essential cooking skills should be instilled from a young age. All of our classes are free and teach members practical cooking lessons combined with basic nutrition information.

Our members have fun in the kitchen, and learn that cooking needn’t be difficult or expensive. All of our recipes can be reproduced cheaply and easily, and have high nutritional value. The Club is staffed entirely by volunteers and relies on donations to undertake its vital work in the community.

There is a misconception among people that children do not want to learn how to cook or will be hard to handle in the kitchen. The Mini Cooking Club has found all of its young members to be willing, enthusiastic and capable young chefs.

Our Food for Champions workshop, held in honour of the 2012 Olympics in partnership with Southwark Council, produced outstanding results. The children learned how to cook using exotic ingredients from all over the world, and shared a communal meal they had all helped to cook at the end of each class.

The Mini Cooking Club recommends the following tips for encouraging kids into the kitchen:

  1. Treat cooking as family time. Your kids will enjoy your attention and it will strengthen bonds between you.

  2. Get kids asking questions about the origins of their food. Find out if they know where eggs come from, or potatoes. You might be surprised at how many of them don’t know!

  3. Be positive– if you’re fussy about what you eat, your kids will be too! Try different ingredients together, and cook a totally new meal at least once a week.

  4. Let your kids pick ingredients out in the supermarket to cook and try at home. It doesn’t matter if they don’t end up liking it as it’s all about the process.

  5. Have fun!

The Club is based in South London and runs a variety of nutrition workshops, mental health programs, pregnancy classes and a Mini Baking Club for kids.

If you are interested in booking a course, check out our website for more details. Our blog has lots of regular articles about nutrition and health news! 

By Catherine Heath

Three of the Best Foods for Summer

July 3, 2013 in Families & Children, Health & Fitness, Latest Articles, News, Nutrition, Uncategorized

Summer is the season of fruits, picnics and lazy dinners in the dusk. Eating summer meals in the garden remind us of family moments, and food fresh from the vine has a Mediterranean feel.

It’s too hot and humid to enjoy stodgy comfort food, so the best ingredients are ones bursting with freshness and juicy to the taste.

Strawberries

Strawberries served with cream are of course the Wimbledon classic. We wouldn’t be British if we didn’t voraciously consume this distinctive red and white dish by the truckload; it’s just not the same watching Andy Murray without the delicious combination of this summer fruit and some fresh cream dolloped on top.

According to Wimbledon’s own official figures, 8615 punnets are consumed per day, and 28,000kg consumed over course of the tournament, all served with over 7000 litres of fresh cream.

The price of a punnet has increased by a staggering 50% since records started in 1991, from £1.60 to £2.50 in 2013. However, there’s good news if you weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket. Strawberries in Britain are cheap to buy this summer due to the rainy weather, so munch on your own in front of the TV.

The Mini Cooking Club recommends sticking to single rather than double cream for a healthier option.

Watermelon

Watermelons grow on vines in the ground and are related to pumpkins, squash and cucumber. Today, China accounts for over half of all water-melon production, vastly more than any other country.

One of the world’s healthiest foods, and originating in Africa several thousand years ago, it has high levels of lycopene which means it is great for cardiovascular health. Watermelon is full of nutrients including vitamin C, iron and zinc, and at its best when fully ripe. Even the seeds are full of goodness.

When shopping for watermelons, remember that one which is fully ripe will be much heavier than others, so buy a lighter one if you don’t want to eat it straight away. Watermelon can be consumed sliced on its own, added to a colourful fruit salad or incorporated in many other recipes.

Tomatoes

Bursting with antioxidants including vitamin E and C, tomatoes are both a fruit and vegetable. Famously used all over the world, the Italians sometimes call this food “pomodoro”, or “golden apple”. Though often associated with the Mediterranean, tomatoes originated from western South America. They were introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers returning from Mexico in the 1500s.

Widely known to aid in preventing cancerous diseases such as prostate and breast cancer, they are also good for keeping the heart healthy and lowering cholesterol levels. Tomatoes are also important for bones because of their antioxidants, and some studies show they can help prevent neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, as well as reducing obesity.

There is still a lot that scientists don’t know about this fruit, but it is always high on the list of healthy foods. Again, China is the largest world producer of tomatoes and overall 130 million tons are consumed per year.

The best tomatoes to choose when shopping will have rich, deep colours and smooth skins. Add them to a classic Italian salad or find out how to make an easy salsa dip. Sun dried tomatoes are especially delicious and should be stored in a cool, dry place.

By Catherine Heath

This article was sent to us by our new member, The Mini Cooking Club:

“The Mini Cooking Club is a charity that provides educational cooking workshops across London communities. The Club is dedicated to promoting an understanding of how making informed food choices can enhance our wellbeing, and in return create a healthier society.

​Why food?

The Mini Cooking Club was created in recognition that food is an essential component in life. We believe the need to educate society as a whole and to learn more about eating good food. Our aim is to educate people about the benefits of a balanced, nutritious diet, and to discourage the consumption of processed foods with high levels of sugar, fat, salt and additives”.

http://www.theminicookingclub.org.uk/

 

We think you’ll agree that they’re a great addition to the FunMeFit community and don’t forget to connect with them and read more about their great work!