Lesson in food for youngsters

Representatives from Freshtime at Cranwell Primary School. Pictured are production manager Becky Hourihan, senior new product development chef Luke Pearson and Julia Pires, personal assistant to managing director Mark Newton with some of the children.
Representatives from Freshtime at Cranwell Primary School. Pictured are production manager Becky Hourihan, senior new product development chef Luke Pearson and Julia Pires, personal assistant to managing director Mark Newton with some of the children.

Youngsters at a primary school near Sleaford swapped letters for lettuce and numbers for cucumbers when they played host to a Lincolnshire food firm.

Cranwell Primary School recently played host to food producer Freshtime as part of a health day at the site.

More than 160 children aged between seven and 11 spent part of the day learning about vegetables and how to prepare them thanks to three members of staff from the Boston-based firm.

Production manager Becky Hourihan, senior new product development chef Luke Pearson and Julia Pires, personal assistant to managing director Mark Newton, hosted six sessions which involved an interactive talk on vegetables followed by demonstrations of various chopping techniques.

During the first half of the sessions, Becky tested the children’s knowledge on a variety of fresh produce and shared some facts.

She said: “This was the first time I’d been to a school as part of my job and I was amazed by how many of the vegetables the children correctly identified without any prompting. One girl even recognised pak choi, which was especially impressive!”

Pupils were also given the opportunity to handle and taste the produce, which included broccoli and cabbage as well as less common vegetables such as yellow beetroot and purple carrots.

Julia added: “It was great to see the children so enthusiastic and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them in the classroom.”

The second half of each session was spent in the school kitchen, where chef Luke recapped on the chopping techniques taught as part of the National Curriculum and demonstrated other popular preparation techniques such as spiralizing.

Year Three teacher Steph Pettit, who organised the day, said: “The kids were totally in awe of Luke – you could hear a pin drop during his demonstrations. A few of them didn’t believe that he’s a real chef, but that soon changed when they saw him in action!

“The team from Freshtime were brilliant and both pupils and staff alike learned lots of new things. I’d like to thank the team for their time and effort – we had a fantastic day.”

The health day was part of the school’s learning objectives for the year and included activities hosted by nurses from nearby RAF Cranwell and PE teachers from a local secondary school.

Freshtime’s sessions were modelled on the Freshtime Fun Club.

If you know a school that would be interested in taking part, contact Zoe Lamb at Shooting Star on 01522 528540 or email zoe@weareshootingstar.co.uk.