Hornchurch mum Maria hits on recipe for success with kids’ cookery classes

Wet weather may have stranded youngsters indoors for much of the summer – but one Hornchurch mum has cooked up a storm of her own to keep the kids busy.

And she reckons she’s cracked a way of getting kids interested in healthy eating – let them break a few eggs.

“We have trouble with the eggs,” said 38-year-old Maria Haddow, of Farm Way. “They tend to go on the floor, but we have a whole stack.”

Over the summer Maria has been running Kitchen Cadets, a cookery workshop for children – and the results have been a treat.

“We’ve recently moved into the area,” said Maria. “I’m a stay-at-home mum so I was looking for something to do that fitted in with the children.

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“All kids like cooking so I thought I’d try it and see what happened.”

Maria’s classes, which run up to three times a week, have attracted in excess of 50 youngsters – but with the holidays over she’ll be working around school hours, with Saturday lessons and a special pre-school class starting up.

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“It’s a little bit messy,” she admitted. “There’s a lot of washing up.”

Cooking from scratch comes naturally to Maria, who dislikes pre-packaged foods and makes her own bread.

And she believes getting stuck in encourages kids to explore their taste buds. “Kids say they don’t like new things,” she said, “but if they’ve made something they do seem to want to try it.”

Even so, the kitchen’s workforce means it is naturally more suited to some foods than others.

“We made pizza dough,” she said, “but I think they got quite tired because we had to knead it for five minutes.”

Maria’s new Saturday morning sessions start tomorrow (September 8) and her pre-school sessions are already running. To book, call 01708 474 560.

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