Bath dad says healthy cooking programme has made a difference to family life

Virgin Care’s Health Improvement Service in Bath and North East Somerset has been helping families like stay-at-home dad Stuart Read to learn how to create healthy and low cost meals together with the ‘Cook It’ programme, part of the raft of services Virgin Care provides on behalf of the NHS and council in the area.

Stuart, pictured, took part in a recent course at Foxhill Community Centre with his kids Holly and Ethan, says it’s made a real difference to his family’s life, is helping cure boredom in the summer holidays and create healthy, low cost meals.

Stuart said: “We’ve made cakes before, but we haven’t prepared our own meals as a family. My kids get bored so this has been great as it gives us something we can enjoy doing together. It’s so much better when you have prepared your own food rather than buying it; it’s much healthier and tasty.”

The ‘Cook It’ course aims to give families the opportunity to learn new cooking skills, get involved in informal discussions focused around healthy eating and spend valuable time with their families. Recipes include; stir fry, chicken tikka curry and handmade flatbreads, pasta sauce from scratch and savoury rice.

Kimberley Tyler, Health Improvement Practitioner and course leader said: “Cook It encourages a healthy balanced diet, and gives people the tools to develop confidence in their cooking ability.

“We hope that encouraging the development of healthy food habits will result in long term benefits such as maintaining a healthy weight and reduction in the likelihood of developing health conditions in the future like Type 2 Diabetes.”

‘Cook It’ courses run throughout the year at community centres in the Bath, Keynsham and Somer Valley areas.

People interested in improving their family’s lifestyle get in touch with the Virgin Care Heath Improvement Service who offers a wide range of free services including healthy parenting for families, weight management programmes including support with type 2 diabetes, support to stop smoking and help to get more physically active. Tel: 01225 831852 or email

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