A fantastic article from Birmingham Mail on how to cook 84 meals for the whole week for less than 70p each. Have you ever thought about planning your meals ahead of time but just don't know where to start? Here is a helpful guide with the recipes too!!
The Surrey Skills Festival (SSF) and Summer Party took place on Saturday 13th July. This is the sixth year that this even has run and it is an annual event for looked after children and care leavers. Where the main aims of the day were to have fun alongside promoting independence and life skills for young people.
Our FoodWise coach Gracie had the pleasure of supporting the SSF in promoting independent living. Amongst a broad range of workshops, Gracie enabled individuals to try different foods and learn to cook some substantial meals including frittatas and pasta salad. The stall was all about allowing the individual to choose what ingredients they liked and seeing how they could create a well balanced meal with them.
We had create joy in helping to provide the young people with the opportunity to feel empowered and inspired to accomplish new things.
Statistics show that around three million children in the UK face food insecurity this summer. FoodWise TLC have the pleasure of running free lunches throughout the summer in different locations in Woking and Sheerwater. At St. Andrew’s Church, Woking and St. Michaels Church in Sheerwater, we are supplying a two-course meal one day a week. Places are still available, so please do contact us for more information.
Children need good food every day of the year, yet statistics show that the Summer Holidays see some children going hungry. FoodWise TLC believe children deserve the best start in life and their health, wellbeing and opportunities should not be influenced by childhood hunger. The inability to consume a healthy balanced diet, providing adequate nutrients can impact a child’s development and ability to learn and grow.
Holiday hunger can have a huge impact on some families, with extra costs to provide three meals a day to the whole family pushing many households into food poverty and insecurity. Whilst many children are entitled to free school meals during term time, the holidays lack that provision. This is where FoodWise TLC aim to provide nutritious lunches for the children and families to enjoy, helping to ensure their bodies stay nourished.
Children are not in school for around 170 days a year. Sadly, some children return to school with degraded education, health and development compared to the beginning of the summer. And whilst larger cities provide projects and programmes for these families, often this support is not extended to smaller towns and cities. We feel very grateful to be supported by ASDA in Sheerwater to support us in providing such a pivotal delivery.
Are you in need of extra support this summer? Or perhaps you know of a family who might, please do share this information and spread the word to ensure families are given equal opportunities.
Here at Foodwise, we have a real passion for helping children and teenagers develop the skills for cooking healthy balanced meals. Giving children the opportunity to cook, explore and enjoy different foods can have an array of benefits. This can include a more positive relationship with food, developing healthy eating habits, enjoyment of good food and cooking as well as developing the skills when they are living away from home.
In 2013, a survey found that less than 40% of British children could cook 5 savoury dishes by the time they left school. This can have a huge effect on the health and wellbeing of this generation, leaving them without much choice but to purchase ready made meals and fast foods. Something we all know can be costly both in our purses and for our health. In some cases, children can lack the basic culinary skills of whisking an egg or peeling vegetables. This can also prevent the children from understanding what a variety of foods are, influencing their ability to lead a healthy balanced diet.
FoodWise tries to make a difference to these statistics by teaming up with the Eikon Charity. Starting at Kings College Guildford with the view to broaden our horizons to other schools in the community. Our sessions are around 6 weeks long, depending on the term and within these sessions we cover a variety of bases. From ‘what is a healthy balanced diet?’, to dietary practices to support mental wellbeing and aid exam stress.
But, teaching children and teenagers to cook is not something that can only be done at school. So here are some tips for getting our youngsters cooking at home with as little stress as possible!
- Choose simple recipes. The recipes on our website are created to be quite basic with easily obtainable and budget friendly ingredients. Similarly, typing ‘simple snack ideas’ into Google will be a great place to start!
- Encourage basic skills such as mixing, spreading, peeling, grating, chopping (ensure supervision with sharp objects)
- If the children are younger, using colourful and fun utensils on a low unit can be useful
- Start a notepad recipe book and encourage your young one to write down the foods that they have created
- When possible, involve the children when shopping for the foods – this will give them the ability to see the array of different foods in the supermarket
- Think of the key skills for cooking: boiling, baking, grilling, and roasting
Remember, developing new skills in the kitchen can get pretty messy! So be prepared and maybe you can even teach them how to clean up along the way!
Making a healthy balanced meal go a long way can seem a little daunting, especially if cooking from scratch perhaps is not something that you are used to! So below are our top 10 FoodWise tips for stretching your pennies, bulking out your meals and keeping them full of nutrients.
1- Half veggie, half meat: This works perfectly for foods such as cottage pie, spag bol, curries, or a chilli. Simply half the amount of meat that you have in your recipe and either bulk it out with vegetables of your choice (maybe carrots, peas, sweetcorn, sweet potato), or with a tin of lentils/mixed beans/chickpeas – or both! Check out this BBC recipe that bulks out a cottage pie with some baked beans.
2- Buy own brands: Did you know that most of the time, supermarket own brands often have a similar nutritional value and taste to the branded alternatives. In fact, Good Housekeeping found that some own-brand foods are BETTER than branded foods! Why not trial and error with some supermarket brands with foods such as cereals, tinned foods, frozen foods, fruit and vegetables. Then you can ditch the fancy label and save yourself a couple of pounds.
3- Write a grocery list – and stick to it!: It can be tough sometimes, you go into the supermarket with a list but get lured in by lots of different offers. Try and make yourself a list of the foods that you and your family specifically need and go straight to these items in the supermarket rather than walking the aisles. The bright colours are there to catch us out and although the offers may look good – ask yourself if you really planned to buy that food in the first place?
4- Use your leftovers: Cooking large batches of food and keeping the leftovers for another meal can really help stretch your pennies. This can be anything from cous cous to a roast dinner – just keep it in a microwave safe tuppaware and either keep in the fridge or freezer and reheat! Do be careful though to ensure that the food is piping hot throughout when reheating. When you are planning on saving foods, you should ensure that they are cooled down on the side before being placed into the fridge and if you are keeping it in the fridge then it should be used within 3-5 days.
5- Don’t put up with food waste! Did you know, the average family with children wastes almost £60 of good food every month. Like above, try only buying the foods that you will use and be strict about what you will actually eat, cooking the correct portion for the amount of people eating.
6- More veg please! Why not have a couple of meat free days? Meat, fish and poultry usually cost the most in a meal, so swapping these out for beans, lentils or pulses such as chickpeas and mixed beans can cut the cost significantly. They are also a good source of protein and fibre and they contribute to your 5-a-day. You could make it fun and join the other thousands of people taking part in ‘meat-free-Monday’.
7- Freeze your bread: Bread is one of the most wasted food items. If you find that your bread is mouldy before you have finished the loaf, then you could try freezing your bread to store it. You can put it straight in the toaster if you are after toast, or if you are packing a sandwich for lunch, then the added bonus is that it will stay fresh until lunchtime! Storing bread at it’s freshest will help preserve the taste.
8- Toddlers eat the same: If you have a toddler, get them into eating the same meals as you. Ensuring that you do not use any salt and be careful with spicy food. Simply blend or chop up their portion to a size to best suit them, you can even freeze leftovers for convenience. This is also a great way to bond, share a meal with your child, increase their likeness for different foods and ensure they are eating healthfully too!
9- Buy frozen: Did you know that frozen fruit and vegetables have a similar nutritional value as fresh? This is because they are frozen when picked retaining the nutrients, flavour and colour. The added bonus is that they also come already chopped and prepared! Be careful not to choose those with added salt, sugar or fat.
10- Buy in bulk: Buying rice, pasta and pulses in bulk can keep the cost down and add to your store cupboard essentials. Try to avoid single use/microwave packets of rice and pulses which increases both the cost of the shopping and plastic going into the environment. You can even buy bigger packets of meat which will be cheaper per kilogram and freeze in portions for convenience. Lastly, you could cook a whole chicken ready to add to curries, sandwiches, salads. A whole chicken will give you two thighs, 2 breasts, drumsticks, wings and a carcass for making stock!
Do you have any tips and tricks for saving the pennies on your food? Whether it’s ways to eliminate waste or ways to make your meals stretch further, we would lov
As we head towards the summer and our minds turn to sunshine and holidays, Foodwise is working with church and Fareshare partners to address the issue of Holiday Hunger. This year an estimated three million children risk being hungry in the school holidays in the UK. Children from low income families are entitled to free school meals during term time but what happens in school holidays when there is no such provision? For too many children the answer is that they go hungry, with inadequate nutrition impacting on their health, attainment and opportunities. Foodwise is delighted to be partnering for the second year with St Andrews Church in Goldsworth Park to offer a weekly family lunch throughout August, with much of the food supplied by Fareshare courtesy of Waitrose, ensuring that fresh food doesn’t go to waste. Keep an eye on our website for dates. If you’re interested in more information about Holiday Hunger and want to get it involved check out the national campaign to End Hunger here http://endhungeruk.org/
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