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Year 7 discover healthy eating through the ‘Fun in Food’ challenge

27 March 2017
As part of the Wellington Wellbeing programme, the year 7 pupils have been learning about healthy eating, as part of maintaining a fit, active and healthy lifestyle. To round off the healthy eating series, Jo Evans, director of Wellbeing, organised the “Fun in Food” event and competition, in partnership with our excellent catering service providers, Chartwells. On Friday 10th March, the year 7 pupils assembled in the College theatre and were treated to an opening address from Darren Tinkler, a professional chef brought over from the UK by Chartwells. Darren outlined the importance of the various food groups and how a balanced diet can have a positive impact on academic activities through improving concentration and developing brain power. He also highlighted how cooking healthily doesn’t have to be difficult and time-consuming, as it is possible to whip up something exciting and enjoyable in a very short space of time. To prove his point, two teams of pupils were supplied with all of the ingredients required to make a healthy but filling dinner, and then were given just 15 minutes to put it all together, in the style of the popular UK cooking show, Ready, Steady, Cook. As well as a battle of fast flavours, it was also a battle of the Hamblings, since our two Hambling housemasters led their respective teams of five pupils. While the green and red teams cooked up a storm, Darren was rushing around commentating on the action. The allotted 15 minutes flew by and by the end of it both teams had a magnificent dish to show for their efforts. The red team had managed to pull off a perfectly cooked tandoori salmon with Bombay potatoes and pilau rice, while the green team went with twice-cooked chicken, which was steamed and then finished off in the frying pan for a better texture, with pasta in a tomato pepper sauce. All of the participating pupils were then encouraged to come up on stage and look more closely at what had been put together. Darren asked them to consider the various textures, colours and smells of the presented dishes, before the all-important taste testing began. After careful consideration of both presentation and actual taste, the red team’s salmon was declared the winner! Commenting on the success of the event, Jo Evans said: “The level of engagement and enthusiasm shown by the pupils was so great to see, as was the positive way they talked about the event afterwards. Given how popular it was, we’re now hoping to extend the healthy eating series a little further and next year perhaps we can bring the Year 5 and 6 pupils into this event. Our caterers were also fantastic to work with, as they made it all happen.” Healthy eating has become a key part of our expanding Wellbeing programme, and we hope that by showing pupils the importance of choosing and cooking balanced meals from an early stage, those skills will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they grow and develop.