CHILDREN used produce grown in their school garden to cook up a treat and inspire healthy eating.

Pupils from West Park Academy, Darlington, took part in a healthy food initiative supported by a visiting chef from the Food Education Company, who works to promote good grub.

Around 140 pupils were involved, watching and taking part in cooking demonstrations, using produce from the school garden to make tasty meals, such as vegetable cottage pie, potato salad, vegetable soup and spiced apple pudding.

Chef John Perrett, of Sunderland, said: “Healthy eating is such a big topic these days and if we can help to educate children to make something interesting but healthy to eat at an early age it can make all the difference.

“We also try to make it exciting for them and colourful.

“The reaction from the children is amazing when they see how easy it is to make food which is healthy.”

Home School Family Coordinator and organiser Jane Graham said: “We invite the chef into school to cook for the children every year and we wanted to know what we could do with our own grown vegetables.

“The school council also decided they would like to run a healthy tuck shop and they wanted to learn what best to sell.”

Mr Perrett showed the school council how to make banana and strawberry smoothies using low fat yoghurt and no sugar.

He also instructed them how to make low fat tasty dips and flapjacks to be sold in the tuck shop.