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Trucking into the right kind of Food.


A FAT-FIGHTING charity is helping Tyneside children follow a healthy food trail - from the plough to the plate.

A quarter of all children in reception classes across the North East are overweight or obese.

But Food Nation, based in Byker, is trying to make a change. Education co-ordinator Katherine Hale is sure that showing children how the food from the farmyard gets to fill their tummies will work.

"The children are interested," she said. "They just need to be given the chance to enjoy their food."

As part of Food Nation's program - which doesn't cost schools a penny - the children take cooking lessons with staff from Food Nation and Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food.

Recently, Katherine went to St Vincent's Roman Catholic Primary School in Walker where children in Years Three and Four cooked barbecue chicken kebabs and other tasty treats.

The emphasis is on seasonal and nutritious cooking, and the program goes to great lengths to get children to think about what they eat.

They visited Broxfield Farm, near Alnwick where owner David Thompson, 52, showed pupils around.

He said: "We try and tell the story from the beginning. They put the wheat in the mills and they're amazed when flour comes out.

"It falls in their hands and then it's in their heads forever."

The youngsters - many of whom were not sure where beef burgers come from - also met some of David's 300 Aberdeen Angus cattle.

He said: "They get that sense of awe when they see the size of the animals. And it's important to make them understand that animals have to be killed to make meat."

Statistics show that obesity in reception will often carry on into older years and so early intervention is vital.


GETTING STUCK IN Molly Hutchinson and Ellen Smith

FUN FOODS Katherine Hale teaches pupils to chose the right foods for a healthy diet. Right, Jerry Gardner

RIGHT CHOICE Erin Parkinson-Brindle from St Vincent's RC Primary School, which offers healthy cooking classes
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2013
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