Compulsory cookery classes to tackle obesity epidemic
The government has announced plans to introduce compulsory cookery classes at school to combat the obesity epidemic.
Children aged 11 to 14 years will be taught how to prepare simple and healthy meals using fresh ingredients.
Health ministers hope this will encourage healthy eating and leave children less vulnerable to weight gain.
Schools and Children's Secretary Ed Balls said: "Teaching kids to cook healthy meals is an important way schools can help produce healthy adults.
"My mum was passionate about all this and bought me my first Delia Smith book."
From September this year, the Department for Children, Schools and Families said all schools that offer food technology classes must start to teach children practical cookery skills.
The remaining 15% are expected to provide compulsory cookery lessons by 2011.
Cheryll Adams, acting lead professional officer of Unite/CPHVA said: "Those on low incomes must be helped to access the often more expensive healthy food choices - one way is through reinstatement of cooking classes as a necessary life education for all children.
"The message must be cooking is fun and as important as the other things in life we value. Cookery classes are an excellent idea as long as the importance of good nutrition for teenagers is taught alongside."
Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply) "I am in favour of these cookery classes but the problem of obesity in the young is a result of the loss of playing fields, dropping of competitive sports and classes in physical training, which were brought about by government action" - Name and address supplied
"I'm all in favour of cookery classes in schools. My daughter has cooking sessions and they are encouraged to prepare healthy meals as well as desserts. She is really enthusiastic and all the class (boys and girls) have fun doing this. I feel part of this rests with the parents. If you're prepared to spend time preparing and cooking with fresh produce, your children see this as normal rather than take always and frozen meals and then view these as treats rather than the norm" - Name and address supplied