Bringing Cooking Classes Back to Schools

The Home Economics classroom kitchen was an oasis away from books, chalk, and homework. While we were learning, it was different, more practical learning, though few of us realized it at the time, I suppose. I discovered the joys of turning eggs, flour, and baking powder into delicious flaky cheese scones (science, huh?), the trick to the best meat pies, how to cook the perfect fried egg, and more. It inspired me to pick up cookbooks and experiment at home, too. Jamie Oliver is launching a new TV series in the U.K., Money-Saving Meals, and spoke recently about his puzzlement when he sees poorer people spending money on items such as big-screen TVs while skimping on quality, fresh food. “The fascinating thing for me is that seven times out of 10, the poorest families in this country choose the most expensive way to hydrate and feed their families,” he told the Radio Times. “The ready meals, the convenience foods.” Telegraph writer Allison Pearson agreed with Oliver that teaching kids to cook and shop for healthy ingredients is vital. “Home economics is every bit as important as the other kind of economics, indeed, one cannot thrive without the other,” she writes. “Every 16-year-old in the country should be able to prepare a nutritious meal.” English schools are reintroducing cooking classes next month, Pearson says, and she relates some funny stories from her own experiences cooking at school, while stressing the important life lessons she’s carried with her from those days. “If Jamie’s Money-Saving Meals … does anything to help and inform the junk-food generation waddling towards cardiac intensive care, then good for him. This country once knew how to feed its young healthy food, and it must learn to do so again,” says Pearson. What do you think? Did you take home economics classes at school? Were they a good foundation for you and you family? Should schools teach kids basic healthy recipes and how to budget for food? Want to start at home? Check out our practical tips for cooking with kids of all ages. We’ve practical advice and recipes for feeding your family well on a budget, too.

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