At Garden City Academy and St Thomas More Primary the youngest members of the local community were visited by home economist Kate Snow, who works with the UK Government on the EATWELL Programme and teaches the food group section of the national curriculum across the UK.
She led pupils aged from nine to 11 in cooking Norwegian cod and salmon; teaching them about the nutritional and health benefits of fish and seafood and educating them about its sustainability.
She said: “This has been an exciting opportunity to go into schools, educate and get children cooking – which is key to getting them to enjoy their food.
“My courses involved practical cooking, a presentation of different fish varieties and an introduction to the UK government's dietary advice about eating fish and seafood twice a week.
“The children got to learn about sustainable fish and seafood and why the vitamins, minerals, proteins and omega fats in fish are so important for our health.”
Her work at the schools followed a visit to Norway to watch a Fiskesprell course held at a kindergarten near Trondheim led by chef Rune Sandø. Over the course of three hours, he introduced curious four and five-year-old children to the main fish species and taught them to cut vegetables and make fish fingers.
Fiskesprell is a national diet programme that aims to increase seafood consumption among children and younger people. This group tends to eat less fish and seafood than is recommended by the health authorities, therefore is at risk of missing out on the important health benefits.
Kate said: "It was inspiring to see how the children contributed, and I was very excited about the Fiskesprell concept. Although I didn't understand what was being said, it was easy to look at the faces of the children that they were very enthusiastic.
"The way they made fish fingers was brilliant, and I have brought this back to the UK to use in my taco dishes. I also introduced a geography section so that the pupils could get an understanding of where Norway is, and the connection the country has to the UK.”
Garden City Academy Year 6 teacher Gary Bryan said: “The children were fascinated by the lesson. Cooking with food really inspires their imaginations and it was a fantastic way to demonstrate how they could be making healthier choices – and helping with the cooking - at home.
“Kate even brought in a whole Norwegian salmon as a multi-sensory experience for the children. Many have never seen a fish like this before and was a moment they talked about for a long time after.”