Family cooking lessons spice up the summer holidays

Kids and parents are tucking into a feast of free cookery classes at venues across the city this summer as part of a programme of activities to help families during the school holidays.

Cllr Gordon joins Sophia and Lava making hummus at a summer holiday cooking class
Cllr Gordon, Sophia and Lava taste their freshly-prepared hummus

Run jointly by the Council alongside fellow Edible Edinburgh members Edinburgh Community Food, the fun and interactive lessons get kids and their grown-ups stuck into preparing a wide range of fresh, healthy, affordable and delicious recipes. 

The classes are delivered as part of the Discover! programme, which offers a range of free activities during the summer holiday period, from day-trips, films and science workshops to sports, music, storytelling and arts and crafts. Meals and transport are provided for children and their families, and there is support and advice available for parents. Around 300 children and adults have taken part since early July and places are still available for sessions up to early/mid-August. 

Cooking up some family fun

Councillor George Gordon, Chair of Edible Edinburgh and a former professional chef, paid a visit to a children's cookery class at St David's RC Primary School this week and demonstrated his culinary expertise by helping the kids make some fresh hummus.

Cllr Gordon said: "It's a wee while since I've had my chef's whites on in a professional kitchen but what a treat to be able to introduce the families to simple, nutritious and tasty recipes they can enjoy making together at home. We had great fun making the hummus and it was fantastic to see the huge enthusiasm from all the kids and parents as they cut up tomatoes for fresh salsa and prepared some delicious tuna wraps. 

"These cookery classes are a brilliant way to tackle holiday hunger and help families have fun making easy, healthy and inexpensive meals together. This excellent programme is part of the diverse range of work being undertaken by the Council, our partners and the third sector to tackle food insecurity and improve child health and wellbeing across the city."

Lesley Curtis, Food & Health Development Worker at Edinburgh Community Food, said: "The Discover! cooking sessions are very popular with children and families across the city. The classes are always full and both children and parents seem to really enjoy them. The sessions involve making meals from scratch and participants particularly enjoy cooking together as a family. Our Take & Make DIY Meal Kits are always popular with families who are keen to learn how to make quick, nutritious meals on a budget.

"This summer, we have also included cooking skills sessions for the younger children and so far these have been well received. Participants are able to take home the food they have prepared together with the recipes so they can make them again at home. It is fantastic to see such continued enthusiasm for cooking from young children and their parents." 

Feedback from families

"Great quality time with the cookery, we love doing it. My child was delighted. It helps his confidence and now he wants to help at home with the cooking." (Portobello)

"The cookery session gave me time to be with my older children." (WHEC)

Want to join in? 

Families interested in taking part in the Discover! programme before the end of the summer holidays should email discover@edinburgh.gov.uk  Activities are being run at four centres across Edinburgh: St David's RC Primary School, WHEC, Portobello High School and Gracemount High School. 

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