Family bonding on the menu


Guest blogger, Jane Miles, Children’s Food Trust board member.

In February, St Willibrord’s RC Primary School deservedly won the Let’s Get Cooking national Golden Spoon Award 2013, which for them, celebrates the huge success of their ‘dads and lads’ club to help fathers and their sons cook their way towards a healthier lifestyle.

After having the pleasure of meeting members at the award ceremony in London, I was so inspired that I planned a visit to see their great work in action.

On Monday 11th March, I rolled up my sleeves and got on my way. As I approached the school the snow was falling and a gloomy Manchester day was before me. However, once I was at the school I was met with warmth, enthusiasm and passion. Some members of the club were away with ill health but Andrea Wheeldon, the school’s Family Worker who runs the club, was keen for the club to go ahead.

At 12.30pm, I helped set up a practical space for the dads and lads to work in. Portable ovens, chopping boards, electric whisks, washing up bowls and ingredients were brought to the floor. Three dads, one mother and a group of spirited children worked hard all afternoon; mixing, chopping, cooking and tasting! By the end of the afternoon a healthy stir fry and oatmeal cookies were proudly served. The pupils and parents worked, chatted and engaged with one another.

Lads and dads in action!

Lads and dads in action!

Healthy eating, bonding and building positive relationships with each other were top on the list of priorities for the day and are embedded in the ethos of their club.

Throughout the afternoon, we had lots of interested visitors who wanted to bring their dads to the club next time. The day was a wonderful opportunity to see how food can really bring people together, even before it hits the table.

I’d like to say a big thank you to all at the school for welcoming me into their club and for letting me experience the wonderful environment and goings-on of a very popular cooking club. Here’s to lots more great cooking (and eating!) by lads and their dads!


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