Jamie Oliver teaches East End mums how to cook healthy meal for the family

PUBLISHED: 10:44 08 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:48 08 April 2015

Marie at first training session with Jamie's Ministry of Food

Marie at first training session with Jamie's Ministry of Food

© Rehan Jamil

The first parents in London’s East End getting cooking lessons with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to improve meals at home have completed the “main course”.

Now they’re going out to run cooking workshops for other mums and dads to spread the word.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food has a deal with Tower Hamlets Council to train more parents to sample his cooking courses.

One mum, Marie McMahon (pictured), among his first 14 graduates, has “converted” to healthy eating.

“I’m already trying to spread the word just by talking to people,” she says. “When they say they’re going for a pizza, I tell them they can make it cheaper and healthier at home themselves.”

The 14 are sharing their new kitchen skills in the coming months with other parents with “good cooking” programmes in schools and community centres.

Khaled Hussain was among the first group spending three days at the Jamie Oliver HQ in Hoxton.

The father-of-two, a former chef now working as a restaurant waiter, said: “Sometimes you go to the supermarket and buy packaged stuff, but don’t know what you’re buying and don’t really know what’s in it.

“Making a meal from scratch is amazing. In half-an-hour, your dinner is ready and it’s healthy.”

Khaled is now preparing to lead his first cooking workshop, practising at home to build his confidence to “do it properly”.

The East End has one of Britain’s highest rates of child obesity, caused mainly by youngsters snacking out on take-aways and junk food.

But the local authority is half-way to winning the ‘battle of the bulge’ with its healthy eating programme in schools. Nineteen-out-of-20 Tower Hamlets schools have won London Mayor Boris Johnson’s ‘healthy food’ awards, more than any other London borough.

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