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Published Wednesday 25th of January 2012 10:03:18 AM

Devizes chef Peter Vaughan believes teaching young children about healthy eating is the way to educate whole families to have a better diet.

He is taking part in a national project organised by the Academy of Culinary Arts which encourages chefs to adopt a school, and has been running sessions at St Margaret's Preparatory School, Calne during January and February.

On his first visit he taught children aged nine and ten how to make bread. He said: 'I cover all aspects of the senses and taste, and why we seem to love fatty, salty and sweet foods. I also look at staple ingredients, such as wheat, and look at how it is refined to make our white bread. The children made bread with refined white flour and then with wholegrain flour. The key is not to make them prefer wholegrain bread, but rather to understand why they prefer one from the other.'

He believes the lessons learnt by children can affect what their whole family eats. He said: 'Our own research in many schools across Wiltshire has shown irrefutable evidence that parents lack quick ideas, need inspiration and don't know themselves why wholegrain bread is better for you than white.'

Mr Vaughan, who runs the Bistro restaurant and Vaughan's Kitchen cookery school in Devizes, believes in making the important issues of nutrition fun and this is endorsed by St Margaret's Headmistress Karen Cordon. She said: 'We have found that this initiative really encourages a 'hands on' approach to food and cooking, which really helps children to learn about healthy eating.'

Year five teacher Sarah Chester said the children had really enjoyed the session. 'They learnt a lot about science and nutrition without even realising it,' she commented. 'At the end they tried both the white and the wholemeal bread and the wholemeal was the definite winner.'
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St Margaret's Preparatory School, Calne

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