Sarah Gray, Marketing Manager of Mars Foodservice
Why did you decide to sponsor the Family Food Appreciation Workshops?
At Mars Foodservice, our vision is ‘Better Food Today. A Better World Tomorrow’, and the family food appreciation workshops are a great way of bringing this vision to life. It is vital that we all understand about balanced eating to ensure we all live healthier lives.
By bringing schools and families together, the workshops ensure that we are teaching today’s and tomorrow’s generation about the importance of eating well, where food comes from, and how much fun cooking together can be.
The Craft Guild of Chefs is very passionate about food and doesn’t need any encouragement to show off their chefs’ great skills and knowledge. I’m a true believer that passion breeds passion, so these chefs really are best placed to be running the courses.
Mars Foodservice has also been a LACA partner for seven years, therefore we understand the challenges and are keen to support the organisation, wherever possible.
What will you be doing to support this campaign?
In addition to financial support to help run the sessions, we are providing products for the families to use. These include our Uncle Ben’s quick-to-cook rice, which they can take home with them so they can carry on the good work they have started in the sessions.
It’s important to us that the families go home and practice what they have learnt and build their confidence to try out new dishes. Our development chef, Roy Shortland, will be involved with the sessions from the spring and he is really excited about being involved and sharing his passion for food.
How do you think the workshops will help our next generation?
It’s key that the next generations learn how to cook and have a good understanding of what a balanced diet is. We have a major issue with obesity in this country and it’s only by teaching adults and children about how their lifestyles affect their health and wellbeing will we make a difference.
The fact of the matter is that two or three generations now have not been educated in diet health and general life skills. The question is, is it a co-incidence that a fifth of four-year-olds are now overweight or obese? The situation can’t be allowed to get any worse and, following last year’s PS100 report calling for a ‘show and tell’ approach instead of just a ‘tell’ approach to dietary health, it’s great to see the foodservice industry and chefs, in general, playing more of a part, the family food appreciation workshops the perfect example.
The beauty of the workshops is that they are teaching families about balanced diets in a fun way and dismissing the myth that cooking is difficult. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes along the way – that’s part of the fun and part of the learning process.
And, you never know, these workshops might even inspire the next generation to become the next Jamie Oliver or Angela Hartnett.
What would you say to a school or local authority interested in getting involved?
Do it. The workshops are an amazing way of bringing home cooking to life into schools.
What would be your top cooking tip for families?
Don’t be scared to give cooking a go and involve all the family. Cooking is a great activity that all the family can be involved in.
For more information on Mars Foodservice, call 0800 952 0011, visit www.mars-foodservice.co.uk and follow @MarsFS_UK.