by Helen Burgess and Kate Veale, Little Cooks Co
The love, support and knowledge that grandparents bring to family life is absolutely crucial but, in our view, too often overlooked and under appreciated. There is an army of grandparents who have a dependent child living with them, and the childcare provided by grandparents has been estimated to be worth billions- though this is too rarely recognised in the public debate about childcare provision and costs.
We understand the powerful role you play in your grandchildren’s lives. We were both taught how to cook by our grandparents and their wisdom and guidance is what shaped the passion we have for food and healthy eating today. But not only this, the times we spent in the kitchen together are some of our happiest memories. There is something incredibly bonding about cooking together – sharing the same goal, working together, the fun, the mess, and the satisfaction of sitting together afterwards to eat what you’ve both created.
There is no time in life when it is more important to eat healthy food than in childhood as the rate of development and growth is phenomenal. Yet it is often a time when it is hard to eat healthily – the intense marketing of junk food aimed at children, the hidden sugars added to children’s food, unhealthy lunch options in schools and fussy eating to name but a few reasons. And this is now being reflected in the health statistics – the rates of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in the UK (and across the western world) are staggering, and getting worse year on year. One in five children in the UK start primary school obese and one in three leave obese, and cases of type 2 diabetes have doubled in children since 2005.
We have set up the UK’s first monthly cooking kit for kids. We hope it will help grandparents across the country spend regular quality time with their grandchildren, teaching them to cook and creating happy lifelong memories together. Each kit is delivered to your grandchild and includes a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipe as well as games and experiments which teach children about the power of food through action. We know kids love getting post and we believe that when our box arrives each month they will be excited about opening it and getting their aprons on; making cooking a regular part of their home activities.
FIVE TOP TIPS FOR CREATING HEALTHY EATING HABITS
- Replace sugary breakfasts (cereal, toast with jam etc) with porridge, mashed banana and cinnamon
- Reduce fruit juice, squash and fizzy drinks and replace with water (adding a slice of lemon and cucumber can help make it more interesting)
- Replace sweetened yogurt with greek yogurt and berries
- Reduce sugary processed foods (cakes, crisps, biscuits, doughnuts) – with alternatives such as homemade smoothies
- Use butter rather than margarine in sandwiches – margarine is high in trans fats which are harmful to our health
Little Cooks Co was born out of a desire to create something that would help put cooking and eating together back at the heart of family life. Helen and co-founder Kate hope that their boxes will help a generation of children to lead healthier, happier lives by teaching them to enjoy cooking and eating healthy food from a young age. To find out more, visit www.littlecooksco.co.uk