The Allenton Big Local funded cookery course delivered by Nacro Derby Osmaston Family Project continues to deliver useful hints and tips to parents to help them deliver healthy meals for their families on a budget.
In the latest report from Nacro, Margaret Woodbridge said: “Many families in Allenton continue to face real food poverty. A lack of money means they struggle daily to eat and get the right nutrition. Some parents have to cook for large families – six or seven children in some cases – and providing a healthy meal for that many people can be a challenge.
“As well as learning how to cook and being able to take the food they prepare home with them, parents attending the course are given helpful advice and budget saving ideas.”
Here are some of the things that parents learn on the course:
The best places to shop: budget cooking is about buying what is reduced or on offer. Going to the supermarket an hour before closing time is the best time to snap up bargains. Supermarkets offer huge discounts on food that has reached its use-by date at the end of each day, making it a great time to buy reduced meat and fish which can be frozen until needed.
Cook in bulk: batch cooking will save you money and time! For instance, for about a pound, you can make three litres of a tomato based sauce with lots of healthy vegetables grated into it. That’s the equivalent of six jars of pasta sauce at a fraction of the price. The sauce can then be frozen in portions and used to make lasagne, pasta, chilli, or as a pizza topping. Water it down, and you can also serve it as a delicious tomato soup.
Using leftovers: using up leftovers will help your weekly shop stretch further. This doesn’t mean having to eat the same meal two days running. Leftover chicken, vegetables and gravy can become mini chicken pies and eaten later in the week.
“Teaching these useful tips on the course often prompts parents to share their own ideas and experiences,” said Margaret Woodbridge. “Parents discuss topics such as how to make food tasty for children who are fussy eaters, and how to add spices or garlic to enhance the flavour of food.”
Here are some of the comments from parents who attended the cookery course:
“I’ve enjoyed coming to the group and meeting other mums. We learnt from each other.”
“We all got on really well as we were cooking. It was a fun course. What am I going to do now on Wednesdays?”
“I tried and cooked things I would never have done before.”