Kids cooking class promotes plant-based meals for the lunchbox

MIRI SCHROETER
Last updated 13:04 05/10/2017
DAVID UNWIN/STUFF
Connor Gilmour, 8, puts the spring rolls in the oven.

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It might be the school holidays, but some Manawatū children are taking the time to scrub up on their lunch making skills.

On Wednesday, Plant to Plate Aotearoa held a cooking class for children to learn how to make healthy, plant-based lunches. 

Children filled Youth Space, in Palmerston North's Coleman Mall, where they learned to create vegetarian meals as part of Enviro Fest – an annual festival that runs from October 2 to 23. 

Shelley Gilmour wanted to get out of the house with her children Connor, 8, and Laura, 7, who both enjoy helping in the kitchen. 

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Gilmour said her children learned how to make things such as vegetable spring rolls – foods she never thought they would eat.

"The more they cook, the more they want to eat it."

Gilmour said her son never ate cabbage, but once it was hidden in the spring rolls he created, he loved it. 

Brianna Crabtree, 16, said it was a good event for her younger brother, who learned how to chop vegetables properly without slicing his fingers. 

Once the children finished making the food, which included fruit skewers, feta and spinach rolls, and sweet corn pikelets, they sat down to enjoy their hard-earned lunch. 

Julia Panfylova, from the Palmerston North City Environment Trust, said Enviro Fest had a particular focus on getting young people involved as they shaped the future of the country. 

Other events include learning how to construct a windmill, targeted at high-school aged children. 

Panfylova said it would be run by Massey University staff and was aimed at encouraging people to study engineering. 

"We want to show them how important it is to develop new energy sources and sustainable sources."

The event is on October 10. 

There is also a composting workshop on Sunday at Te Manawa, a pizza and movie night at Wholegrain Organics on Monday to discuss the impacts of eating meat and dairy and a guided tour of Massey University's gardens on October 14.

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