Half a million children set to learn how to cook healthy meals

1 Apr 2015

The Tesco Eat Happy Project and Children’s Food Trust have today confirmed a brand new partnership worth almost £5 million to expand ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ - the UK’s biggest network of school cooking clubs.

  • Children’s Food Trust joins forces with Tesco in new deal worth almost £5 million to expand network of children’s ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ clubs
  • New clubs will be concentrated in disadvantaged areas and the number of clubs will be expanded by a third

The Children’s Food Trust has today confirmed a brand new partnership with The Tesco Eat Happy Project worth almost £5 million to expand ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ - the UK’s biggest network of school cooking clubs.

The new clubs will be concentrated in disadvantaged areas with a high proportion of low income families, where improving cooking skills can have the greatest impact for children. Research shows children from poorer homes are more likely to be obese – over a fifth of children from low-income households were classed as obese in 2013, compared with only 7% of children in higher income groups.

Children learn how to cook a huge variety of useful meals at Let’s Get Cooking clubs, from healthy favourites like salads, omelettes and soups to world cuisine like curries, stir fries and chilli.

The clubs have been proved to have a real and lasting impact on children’s relationship with their food – research shows that almost all children who take part cook again at home, and more than half say they eat more healthily since learning to cook at a club.

As well as keeping around 3,000 existing clubs going, this new partnership with Tesco will help the Children’s Food Trust set up an additional 1,000 clubs across the UK during 2016.  This means up to 72,000 more children will get to benefit from learning how to cook at the clubs.

Linda Cregan, Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Food Trust, said:

“If we want children in the UK to eat better, we have to give them the skills they need to cook - and companies like Tesco can have enormous influence to make that happen so we’re thrilled to be working with them.

“This funding is an incredible opportunity to give many more children the chance to make that connection between where food comes from and the meal on a plate, and to grow our army of inspirational cooking club champions right across the UK.”

Originally established seven years ago with £20m of investment from the Big Lottery Fund, The Children’s Food Trust’s Let’s Get Cooking programme has established a network of 3,000 successful primary and special school clubs in England and has so far helped almost 2 million children and parents improve their cooking skills.

Josh Hardie, Corporate Responsibility Director for Tesco said:

“The Tesco Eat Happy Project is our long-term commitment to help the next generation have a happier and healthier relationship with their food. A crucial part of this means giving children the tools they need to make better decisions about what they put on their plates when they grow up.

“We’re thrilled to be supporting Let’s Get Cooking clubs – it means we can reach as many children as possible, creating a real legacy for cooking skills in this country.”

This week The Tesco Eat Happy Project also launched a series of pop-up Easter cooking classes for nearly 900 children in 25 Tesco stores across the country. The classes, delivered by the Children's Food Trust and called ‘Let’s  Cook’, will build on the successes of the cooking classes launched by The Eat Happy Project last summer, and will teach children aged 5-11 how to cook a variety of healthy meals from spaghetti bolognese to paella.

The Tesco Eat Happy Project is the retailer’s long-term commitment to help children aged 4-11years have a healthier and happier relationship with food. Tesco has worked with the Children’s Food Trust since 2014, delivering more than cooking courses to more than 3,500 children in stores across the UK – one attended by the Deputy Prime Minister.

For two years, the ‘Let’s Get Cooking with The Tesco Eat Happy Project’ will also give clubs – both old and new – grants to help with equipment and ingredient costs, practical cooking training sessions for their volunteer co-ordinators, activity packs and recipe ideas.  In all, the project is set to give children in every county in England the chance to improve their cooking skills.


For more information, contact Claire Rick at media@childrensfoodtrust.org.uk or 07867 536794 or Alasdair Gee at Alasdair.gee@uk.tesco.com or 01992 644 645

Notes to Editors:

The Children’s Food Trust is the national charity protecting every child's right to eat better and, so, to do better; at school, at home and beyond. Its vision is that all children should have the balanced diet, cooking skills and food education they need for good health and to reach their potential. The Trust runs the UK’s biggest network of healthy cooking clubs, Let’s Get Cooking. For more information, visit www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk, follow the Trust @childfoodtrust and like us on Facebook. Registered charity number 1118995

The Tesco Eat Happy Project is a long-term commitment to help 4 – 11 year olds have a healthier and happier relationship with food. Tesco believes that if children understand more about food and where it comes from, they can make better decisions about what they put on their plates when they grow up.

Tesco’s ambition is to give every primary school-aged child in the UK the opportunity to go on Farm to Fork Trails, Online Field Trips and Let’s Cook courses, to support their syllabus in learning about food and nutrition. All are free and open to every 4 – 11 year old in the country.

  •  Farm to Fork Trails offer interactive, educational fun at over 770 Tesco stores and more than 170 Supplier Partner’s farms and factories. Children learn how to bake bread rolls, taste new foods or see how cows are milked. The trails are based across the country and Tesco contribute towards transport costs.
  • Online Field Trips broadcast live from farms and factories across the globe. Children use technology in the classroom to stand in a muddy field and discover where the food on their plates comes from, without needing to pull on their wellies. They can chat to real growers and producers using Google+ Hangouts.
  • Free, downloadable resources are developed with teachers and nutrition experts to be age-appropriate and linked to the national curriculum. They include lesson plans, recipes, videos and activities, and span all subjects so that teachers can add a healthy eating theme to any lesson.
  • Let’s Cook courses, run in partnership with the Children’s Food Trust, aim to give children the skills and passion to cook and eat healthily. Children take away an apron and healthy recipes to help them continue cooking at home.

The Tesco Eat Happy Project launched in March 2014 and has now seen over 685,000 children find out where their food comes from, as well as how to cook nutritious meals through participation in Farm to Fork Trails, Online Field Trips and Let’s Cook courses.

To understand more about The Tesco Eat Happy Project, please visit http://www.tesco.com/eathappyproject or tweet us on @EatHappyProject

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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