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Culinary nutrition combines practical skills and knowledge from culinary arts, nutrition and food science that help improve the way people eat. Learning how to cook basic meals from scratch gives young people the opportunity to see, feel and taste what good nutrition is all about.

 

Culinary nutrition is a new term that reflects an established piece of maternal wisdom: That learning how to cook is a source of good health and prepares us for adult life.

Supporting data. Studies on culinary nutrition are producing data that is backing up this wisdom, revealing that people who take cookery lessons enjoy better nutrition as a result.

In a recent City University report, a majority of students who took cookery classes reported eating more vegetables (84%),

and there was a 27.5% increase in the number of pupils eating vegetables four times a day.

And the benefits are reaching home.

The Food for Life Partnership found that for the schools offering cookery lessons, many pupils go home and teach their parents what they have learnt. In fact, 45% of parents said the family now ate more healthily as a result.

Points of view. Don’t just take our word for it. See the quotes below to find out what other people have to say about the value of culinary nutrition…

Culinary nutrition on the record
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Dr. Clare Gerada
Dr. Clare Gerada Royal College of General Practitioners
I have a number of patients who have never cooked a meal, ever, in their entire lives. The closest they may ever get to cooking a meal is putting something in the microwave. I think it is important that we put cookery back into schools so that at least children can see how much sugar goes into an average cake or how much fat goes into a pastry so they can make choices about what they’re going to eat.
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver Healthy Eating Campaigner
Originally the Ministry of Food was set up for our country at a critical stage during the war, to ensure the population did not go hungry and could eat healthily on scarce rations. Sixty years later, we are again at risk of malnutrition but of a different sort, because we no longer have the knowledge of how to cook and use ingredients. It’s not just in Rotherham and the North, it cuts across the whole country.
Martin Caraher
Martin Caraher Professor of Food and Health Policy, City University London
Cooking skills are necessary for the understanding of what constitutes a healthy life… Poor cooking skills could be a barrier to widening food choice in later life and thus reduce the chance of eating healthily. Indeed, a recent study from the National Consumer Council, reported that respondents on low incomes identified one of the barriers to a healthy diet as being….not being able to cook.
Ruth Bond
Ruth Bond Chairman, National Federation of Women's Institutes
I think it would be an excellent if it [cooking instruction] was brought back into schools…We know that a healthy attitude towards food, developed early, is critical to the health and well-being of young people.