Cooking up a storm

Thousands of Kiwi kids are learning to master basic cooking skills such as scrambling eggs and chopping fruit thanks to a new nationwide programme. 

FoodStorm, which launched in February this year, is the result of a collaboration between Little Cooks, an Auckland-based business running cooking classes for children, and sKids, an afterschool programme with more than 60 franchisees in 148 schools across the country.

Children enrolled in FoodStorm will learn to cook 12 essential recipes which involve the basic cooking skills, such as boiling pasta, mashing potato, chopping fruit, zesting a lemon, scrambling eggs, and making a smoothie.

Bex Woolfall and Suzi Tait-Bradly, founders of Little Cooks, say their goal is for every Kiwi kid to have the opportunity to learn how to cook.

"We believe by teaching kids this fundamental life skill today, combined with an understanding of nutrition, they will be able to make healthy food choices tomorrow,” they say.

Research shows that children who are more involved in food purchase and preparation or who cook more often are more likely to meet dietary guidelines.

The Heart Foundation has been working closely with Little Cooks to help with recipe development and modification. 

We’ve provided advice and support around choosing healthier ingredients, setting portion sizes for kids, and reducing the salt, sugar and saturated fat content in recipes to ensure they meet the Food and Beverage Classification System criteria.

Simple and tasty recipes from our Kids in the kitchen cookbook recipes are also being used in the cooking classes. These have been very well received by children and their parents.