Healthy recipes help families in new Family Shape Up and Cook course.

Family Shape Up and Cook encourages families to cook and eat healthy food together.

by Jess English, Family and Schools Dietitian

Cooked potato cakes and schoolchildrenWe’ve just finished the second run of our redesigned Family Shape Up and Cook programme and it went really well, we’ve had some brilliant feedback.

The programme is for children and young people who are above their ideal weight and the sessions are a great opportunity for families to cook some delicious meals together, to learn about nutrition and how to keep active.

We know every family is different and what works for one family may not work for another, so it’s great that people can get together, share their experiences and help to problem solve in a practical way.

Each week we covered a different topic: from The Eatwell Guide through to portion sizes, fats, sugars and had some fun with label reading – using the new NHS Change4Life app. We also had lots of games and family activities to help with making healthier decisions when out and about, at school or at parties.

We cooked three or four new recipes each week and kids and parents alike all tried something new; firm favourites were pizzas, curry night – including homemade flat breads, fish and chips with sweet potato wedges, carrot and lentil soup with toasted seeds and banana pancakes. There’s something for everyone and we’ve been helping families to come up with healthy recipes that will work week after week.

There is a weekly activity and games session for the kids with a coach from Albion in the Community. This is a great chance for them to get active, make new friends and learn new games – plus there’s always a chance that Gully could pop in.

Isobel, 11 joined in the course with her mum. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed cooking and learning about new food and the games were really fun.”

We also explore the local cheap or free activities available in Brighton and Hove and talk through other opportunities to get involved with cookery, healthy eating and our community gardens in Brighton.

Join our next programme. There are still spaces, starting Wednesday 14 June at Portslade City Coast Centre. It’s fun and free (plus food is provided) – call us on 01273 431703 to sign up or for more info. Keep an eye on our webpage for upcoming courses throughout the year.

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