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Cooking skills ‘essential’ for helping families in food poverty

Professionals who work with children have given their views on the importance of cooking skills for supporting families in food poverty, in our new poll.

More than 250 people working with children - including youth workers, childminders, teachers, family intervention workers, doctors, paediatricians, staff from further education colleges and hospitals – told us how they think children’s diet has changed in the last two years of Austerity Britain.

91% said they thought practical cooking skills were either essential or very important in helping families to eat a healthy diet on a tight household budget. Around half of professionals said that knowing how best to use a limited food budget was the biggest challenge for the families they worked with. When asked what would help them support children and families experiencing food poverty, cooking education for children and parents was one of the most popular responses.

Read more about the survey here.

Our Chief Executive, Linda Cregan, said: “The message here is that too many people who work with children are having to go above and beyond the call of duty to try to protect children from the effects of hunger and poor diet. Of course it’s a parent’s responsibility to make sure their child eats well. But as this and other surveys have shown, the reality is that this can be an enormous struggle.

“Whether we like it or not, people working in these jobs are at the frontline of helping parents on this, so they need the right support. As local authorities develop their public health plans, ringfencing funding to support children’s nutrition would be a good starting point. This could be used in all sorts of ways - training on cooking skills for local organisations working with families, subsidising good school food, breakfast clubs in schools or grub clubs for the holidays – but making that explicit commitment is vital.”