Coleg Morgannwg Catering Students Samantha Davies and Emma Howden were able to learn top tips on healthy cooking from TV chef and writer Nerys Howell at Change4Life’s food smart campaign launch this week that took place using the professional kitchens at the college’s new Nantgarw campus.

The aim of the campaign is to help thousands of families across Wales switch to healthier meals that are tasty, simple, quick and cheap to make. To help and inspire families replace unhealthy options, Change4Life has produced a recipe booklet that gives suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes for seven days.

Level 3 Catering Student, Emma Howden, said: “I’m thoroughly enjoying my course and have always thought of cooking as fun. I’m always interested in new recipes and ways in which we can make food more nutritious without adding to the cost. The easy recipes prepared today are ideal for busy families who haven’t got a lot of time or perhaps a great deal of experience cooking food from scratch. I feel it’s important that we have the right knowledge to help educate others as food is such an important contributor to our long term health.”

Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “Now is the perfect time to think about making a change for life. Everyone is cost and health conscious in January, and the Food Smart brochure provides some healthy swaps, from unhealthy takeaways and ready meals to tasty alternatives that are easy to make at home, like stews, curries and even fish and chips”.

“Anyone already signed up to the Change4Life campaign will receive a copy through the post, and we hope many more people will be inspired to sign up for a free copy too. Food Smart is here to help us all make good choices about what we put in our bodies each day and help prevent diseases like cancer, strokes, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The recipes are all low in sugar, salt and fat and are a really easy way to get those important five a day”

The food prepared at the Food Smart launch used fresh produce from a local Food Co-operative that offers seasonal fruit and vegetables at reasonable prices to the public while supporting local producers. Coleg Morgannwg currently supports a Food Co-operative at both its Aberdare and Rhondda sites and is looking to introduce one at Nantgarw.