In a bid to cut poor diets and rising levels of obesity, social enterprise company Health Champions is running free courses, teaching people how to cook and eat more healthily.
The organisation is based in Worthing and runs courses in the town as well as the Adur and Arun districts, Chichester and Selsey.
It has been funded by West Sussex County Council’s Chichester District Wellbeing and Adur and Worthing Wellbeing services, to provide cooking and information sessions over the next 12 months.
The successful six-week Cooking with Confidence courses aim to change people’s eating habits for good and the funding means they can run at an increased number of locations.
Denise Kennedy, Health Champions director and a registered dietitian, said: “We are excited to be increasing the number of courses as we’ve had such positive results from previous sessions.
“Our key message to people is that we can all eat a healthy diet, easily and cheaply. People on our courses feel better for making healthy food swaps and for learning how to cook new dishes.
“As a direct result of comments received on the courses and with all the conflicting advice on diets and food, we’ve written our own Healthy Food Charter as a guide for people. Even making one or two changes, such as adding more vegetables to dishes like bolognaise, or switching to brown rice, can help to make a difference.”
The courses are aimed at people who need a confidence boost in the kitchen and offer hands-on help for creating easy, low-cost and healthy meals. They encourage people to ditch ready meals and take-aways and to create delicious meals and snacks from scratch more regularly.
People attending the fun and informal courses are given free ingredients and tasty recipes to create dishes, which they cook and eat together with other participants at each session.
Courses coming up include:
• St Peter’s Church hall in Sompting, starting Monday, 10am to midday and midday to 2pm.
• Stepping Stones Children and Family Centre in Fishersgate, starting June 6, 10am to midday.
• Worthing High School, starting June 7, 6pm to 8pm.
• The Laburnum Centre, Bognor, starting June 12, 6pm to 8pm.
• Selsey Town Hall, starting June 16, 12.30pm to 2.30pm.
• Roussillon Community Hall, Chichester, starting June 26, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
• Northbrook Barn Community Centre in Durrington, starting September 7, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 12.30pm to 2.30pm.
• Rustington Parish Church Hall, starting September 11, 6pm to 8pm.
For more information, visit www.health-champions.co.uk or call 01444 318649.
People attending past courses have often lost weight as a result of changing their diets and becoming more food aware.
The Healthy Food Charter contains lots of useful information, including how to reduce sugar intake and increase fibre, as well as top tips for creating healthy family meals on a budget.
It can be found on the Health Champions website and the aim is to bust common food myths and to help avoid confusion about what we should and should not eat.