Celebrity chef Rakesh Ravindran uses ‘banana bytes’ to fight East End’s child obesity

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 November 2014 | UPDATED: 12:55 06 November 2014

Celebrity chef Rakesh Nair showing mums how to cook healthy meals [photo: Nick Fuller]

Celebrity chef Rakesh Nair showing mums how to cook healthy meals [photo: Nick Fuller]

Nick Fuller

It looks like it takes “banana bytes” to get kids to eat healthy meals, these days.

It's 'hands on' for celebrity chef Rakesh Nair at Wolmore PrimaryIt's 'hands on' for celebrity chef Rakesh Nair at Wolmore Primary

Celebrity chef Rakesh Nair showed his cooking skills to children and mums at Poplar’s Woolmore Primary, as part of a ‘Banana Bytes’ campaign promoting good eating.

Banana Bytes is run by Artspokes, a social enterprise which is campaigning to tackle child obesity in London’s deprived East End by showing local schools how to create their own healthy eating campaigns with digital media.

Latest figures show four out of 10 children in Tower Hamlets are overweight or obese by the time they are 11.

“Having star chefs like Rakesh inspires people to win the battle against childhood obesity,” Artspokes’ Sarah Hammond explained.

“Schools are the key to the next generation growing up making the right choices when it comes to food.”

Rakesh, head chef at the Cinnamom Club, one of London’s famous Indian restaurants, demonstrated his favourite dishes before the children made their own versions.

He said afterwards: “I hope my passion for food inspires them to experiment in the kitchen at home.”

Ingredients for his dishes came from local shops and Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market where a fun event is planned next month as part of ArtSpokes’ campaign.

The children are using what they learned for a PowerPoint slideshow to be shown at health centres and Idea Stores.

The six-month ‘pilot’ project involves five primary schools creating their own designs for leaflets and posters for health centres, libraries and pharmacies. The project includes a healthy recipe booklet by Bygrove Primary and healthy snack recipes by Mayflower Primary.

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