by Lynsay Keough
The Scottish Learning Festival gets underway at the SECC on Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 September. It includes the Cooking Bus rolling up at the door. The bus is actually an articulated lorry that opens out into a purpose-built kitchen and classroom.
It is funded by the Scottish Government as part of its Healthier Scotland programme along with the Food Standards Agency and is run by the Focus on Food campaign.
Started in 1996, it takes a lead in the teaching of cooking in schools across the UK.
Pupils can climb aboard the bus for lessons under the expert eye of Advisory Teacher Susan Blackwell. Her programme of cooking activities is tailored to suit everyone from four to 18. Training for teachers and the wider community will also be on offer, so that they can continue helping youngsters cook with confidence, long after the bus has moved off.
The buses tour the UK delivering lessons to school childre on how to prepare, cook and enjoy real food.
The Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus is part of the Scottish Government’s efforts to improve the health of the children and families in Scotland. As well as teaching cooking, nutrition and food safety and hygiene to pupils, the bus will welcome mums and dads, guardians and carers and community groups. The core of all lessons will be hands-on cooking.
Scottish Minister for Public Health, Shona Robinson said: ‘the Cooking Bus is a fantastic way to teach children some of the basics about where food comes from and how to cook healthy, tasty, meals. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated and that will be an important lesson for the young chefs on the Cooking bus.’