Joining forces to deliver a groundbreaking new food and cooking course
We're delighted to have joined forces with Square Food Foundation and Milestones Trust to deliver the first in a series of innovative new food and cookery courses. The courses aim to improve diet and health of people with a learning disability through teaching the principles of healthy eating, providing simple food preparation skills, and supporting learners to make the connection between what they eat and their physical and mental health.
Supported by NHS Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), this new ‘Healthy Me’ course stands out from others that have gone before by working with people with disabilities and the people responsible for their care, to ensure that everyone involved in daily meal planning, shopping, and cooking has the same understanding of what a healthy diet is and has learned the same skills in order to achieve it.
Poor diet is associated with negative health outcomes and this is especially evident among people with a learning disability. Delivered by Square Food Foundation cookery school from its teaching kitchen in Knowle West, the Healthy Me course starts on 6 May and runs once a week for 12 weeks. Each programme will have space for 12 learners - six supported people and their support workers.
Learners will work together to cook a range of healthy dishes with a focus on fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, and fibre. Along the way, they’ll gain practical and planning skills and key nutritional knowledge about maintaining a healthy diet. Session topics will include knife skills, healthier baking, cooking with spices, and breakfast ideas, among others. At the end of every session, learners will take home a DIY recipe kit - with all the ingredients and instructions they need to cook a dish from scratch at home.
Square Food Foundation Founder and cookery teacher, Barny Haughton said:
“We know that people with disabilities are more at risk from poor health outcomes linked to diet, and that they often depend on other people for their shopping and cooking. By equipping people with a learning disability and those that support them in their everyday lives with exactly the same skills and knowledge, we’re removing a barrier to better health.”
Our Area Manager in Bristol, James Densley, added:
“People with a learning disability face significant health inequalities throughout their lives, leading to serious consequences for their mental and physical wellbeing. Food and nutrition is a key factor, with research showing that less than 10% of adults living in supported accommodation eat a balanced diet. We’re delighted to be working with the Square Food Foundation on this brilliant initiative to equip people we support with the skills and knowledge they need to be able to cook and eat well. We think the course is going to be incredibly valuable for everyone taking part and can’t wait to see the positive impact it has.”