New healthy recipe book for families by families

Posted on Tuesday 21st May 2019
A mother and her two children reading our new book, Together We Cook.

Serena Cunningham with her daughter, Naila, and her son, Noah-Isaac.

Recipe book ‘Together we cook’ by Evelina London’s community children’s nutrition and dietetics team has been created to support families to eat healthily on a budget.

Evelina London's community children’s nutrition and dietetics team have been working with families in Lambeth and Southwark to find recipes that celebrate local diversity. New recipe book ‘Together we cook’ includes foods from the cuisines of West Africa, India, Portugal and the Caribbean. The recipes provided by families were nutritionally analysed and adapted to fit with current healthy eating guidance to support families to find healthy options that don’t come at a high price.

The book is especially important to support local families, figures from Public Health England in 2019 show that amongst children of reception age, 11.4% in Southwark and 10.5% in Lambeth are classified as obese. This compares with an average of 9.5% across England. In addition, 23.4% of children aged under 16 years in Lambeth and 23.2% in Southwark were living in poverty in 2016, according to Public Health England.

Producing ‘Together we Cook’ has been a collaboration between the community team and the local community, from collecting taste feedback for adapted recipes to a launch event for families.

A copy of the recipe book will be given to every family that completes a ‘Cook and eat well’ course run by Evelina London’s early years community food workers in children's centres across Lambeth and Southwark. Families who attend the course develop practical cooking skills and learn more about cooking healthy meals on a budget.

Serena Cunningham, an administrator from Brixton, attended classes with her daughter Naila, three, and previously with her son, Noah-Isaac, who is now eight.

She said: “It's good for children to learn how to cook from a young age and to learn more about food from other cultures, by using other alternatives to meat and sugar.

"This new book is perfect and means I have all the recipes together rather than on lots of individual sheets. I will definitely be using this to get the children involved at home. Naila loves being in the kitchen with me and she’s willing to help by preparing vegetables, mixing and also grating too”.

Maryam Bader, an early years’ community food worker at Evelina London who wrote the recipe book with colleagues Ana Da Silva and Harriet Preston, said: “The recipe book is a great source of information for all families and can help them to provide good nutritional meals for their children on a budget.”

Find out more about our community nutrition and dietetics service or read a copy of ‘Together we cook’ online.

The ‘Together we cook’ book was made possible thanks to donations

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity raises money for big things and small touches that make our life-saving care even better and help our patients and their families feel really looked after. The Support Evelina website has more information about fundraising for Evelina London.