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Stirring a healthy interest

Nursery children got a taste of academia on a healthy eating course. Elizabeth Buie reports

Nursery children got a taste of academia on a healthy eating course. Elizabeth Buie reports

Parents and children from Cloan Nursery in Drumchapel have just completed the last of four healthy eating classes at Glasgow Caledonian University, funded by the university's share of profits from the successful centenary edition of the iconic Glasgow Cookery Book.

With children dressed in miniature aprons and chefs' hats bearing the distinctive chequered pattern of The Queen's College, affectionately known in its heyday as "The Dough School", they worked with their parents and grandparents to create healthy banana and raspberry muffins, make "fruit faces" and take part in a vegetable tasting session.

The Cook and Eat project was run at the Caledonian Club, set up by the university to encourage greater engagement with the local community. It worked with children and their families from nursery to the end of secondary throughout May, thanks to pound;4,000 funding from book sales and private donations collected by the university's Queen's College Fund.

The Glasgow Cookery Book, a collection of recipes that started life as a college textbook, was reprinted in 2010 to mark the book's centenary year.

The Queen's College and Glasgow Polytechnic merged in 1993 to form Glasgow Caledonian University, and the Queen's College Fund was established to support community-related programmes and student initiatives.

Caroline Kernaghan, who brought her four-year-old granddaughter Grace along, says: "The healthy eating focus lets the kids know that this kind of food can be tasty and it doesn't always have to be full of sugar. Sweets are not the answer to everything. Coming on to the university campus makes the children realise that nothing is too far away. It lets them know they can accomplish anything."

The headteacher of Cloan Nursery, Anne O'Grady, says: "This latest project allows us to continue our journey of aspiration to university life. It will enhance the health and well-being of our families, as well as being great fun."

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