Swansea City AFC Foundation's ‘Jack to a Chef’ programme educates pupils about healthy eating

24th May


Swansea City AFC Foundation has introduced a new health and wellbeing programme named ‘Jack to a Chef’, which has been delivered in two primary schools during its inaugural delivery.

The nutrition initiative is led by the Foundation’s health and wellbeing team, and aims to educate pupils about healthy eating before putting their learning into practice through practical cooking sessions.

In Wales, 13.4 per cent of children are classed as overweight, a statistically-higher proportion than those reported for England and Scotland. Additionally, a quarter of four to five-year-olds in the Swansea Bay area are either overweight or obese, potentially leading to consequences in their later life.

The aims of ‘Jack to a Chef’ are to make parents and children more aware of what they are eating on a daily basis, and to provide healthy recipe ideas which participants can use at home, as well as in sessions with the Foundation.

The first instalment of the five-week programme was delivered at Hafod and Christchurch Primary Schools, with parents and guardians also invited to join the sessions in Hafod.

“Sessions include classroom-style activities, but also practical elements of cooking,” said Swansea City AFC Foundation health and wellbeing officer Rhys Davies.

“We’ve practiced chopping and cutting, weighing and measuring, and all different aspects of cooking, which has introduced the children to some tasks they had never tried before.

“At Hafod the scheme was delivered as an after-school programme where parents were invited, so they have a better understanding of healthy eating too.

“They’ve told me that they’ve cooked the recipes we’ve done together at home – the healthy pizzas were a popular one!

“I think it’s been really beneficial for everyone and they’ve all grasped that healthy eating aspect, which is what the programme is all about.”

Swansea City club ambassador Lee Trundle joined in on the final week of the programme at Christchurch Primary, making apple doughnuts and pancakes with the participants.

“I think the programme is great, because you’re teaching the kids about nutrition from an early age and that’s the best time to teach them these skills,” added Trundle.

“We’re doing it with fun as well, with recipes they get excited about like the pizzas and pancakes, so everyone is enjoying themselves.

“You get into your habits from an early age so they’ll take what they’ve been learning here into their later life. Of course, we all have our treats at times, but at least they’ll know the benefits of eating healthy.”

Sarah Diamond, a teacher from Hafod Primary School, was delighted that pupils had an opportunity to practice cooking, something that they wouldn’t have had the chance to do without the ‘Jack to a Chef’ programme.

“It’s been so enjoyable to have ‘Jack to a Chef’ in our school,” she said.

“All the children have fully engaged, and to see some of the children who I didn’t expect to try new things explore different foods was really good to see.”