TASTY DELIGHTS FOR LOCAL CHILDREN

The Chelsea Foundation and Levy Cares invited local children to take part in a health and nutrition workshop at Stamford Bridge this week.

The initiative saw 30 youngsters from local youth clubs, aged between 11 and 13, watch as two chefs from the club's Cobham training ground taught them how to cook soup and the importance of vegetables in a diet.

But the afternoon wasn't all food-related. The children were also taken behind-the-scenes at Stamford Bridge on a stadium tour before heading down to Eel Brook Common to play in a football tournament once the cooking workshop was over.

'The Chelsea Foundation does some fantastic work and we have stepped in as caterers to take it to the next level with interactive workshops,' said Navjeet Daine, retail operation manager for Levy Restaurants, the club's catering contractors of which Levy Cares is the charitable arm.

'It's imperative to teach the children in the community about nutrition and good health. It still amazes me when we have these sessions that many of the children don't know what certain fruit and veg look like in their raw state.

'By making the session interactive and fun we show the children they can make their own food in a relatively simple fashion. We also teach them the benefits of fresh food and the extra nutrients it has.

'We associate these events with something they love like football, and the association with what the players eat reinforces the message and encourages them to try new things.'

The children learned how to create a simple pepper and onion soup and were told how peppers contain five times as much vitamin C as oranges. Then, as the soup simmered, they took part in blindfolded taste tests.

As they tried to identify the vegetables just by their flavour, an entertaining array of facial expressions came across the children's faces. The taste test also gave the chefs an opportunity to explain the importance of eating healthy food after exercise.

'We told the children about the importance of eating after playing sports, because this is the time when the body begins to recover and it's essential it has healthy food to do it with,' said Chelsea training ground chef d'partie Gabrielle Wilson.

'We also made sure we used colourful vegetables throughout the workshop to keep it interesting, rather than everything just being green.

'These sessions are fantastic, how many other football clubs in general do this for the community? We are also so passionate about it ourselves; we want to teach the kids how to eat healthily.'


Picture by: Eduardo Barroso Barreira