Healthy eating message for Cardiff and Newport students

Mar 12 2012

Eating healthily on a tight budget is a tricky art - more so if you are a student.

Take-away pizzas and burgers may at face value appear tempting. But it is far healthier, cheaper - and just as easy - to buy the ingredients and cook from scratch.

That's the message from red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) to students in Cardiff and Newport next week.

The organisation has produced a full colour bilingual cookbook for students, First Degree Cooking, of which 20,000 copies have already been distributed free of charge to undergraduates across Wales.

Launched last September its success has already led to a reprint, and next week HCC will be at student health and finance fairs at Cardiff University, Newport University and Newport College to give out more copies as well as dispense some easy - and healthy - cooking tips.

We are keen to show young people that they don't have to survive on a diet of junk food while they are in university, said Elwen Roberts, HCC's Consumer Executive and author of First Degree Cooking.

Research undertaken by HCC with students at several universities across the UK confirmed that there was a need for such a book, but we have been blown away by its success, she said. The fact that we have already distributed 20,000 copies and ordered a reprint shows that we were right to produce it.

Alongside the book HCC has also produced iPhone and Android phone apps as well as a website - - and a Facebook page.

First Degree Cooking has been designed to make it easy for students of all cooking skills to prepare a meal which is not only healthier and fresher than ordering a takeaway, it is also cheaper, said Elwen.

It's important that students eat a healthy balanced diet because if they aren't eating properly they will have low energy levels and will find it hard to concentrate.

Elwen will be cooking recipes from the book and talking about the importance of healthy eating on a budget during the events next week.

First Degree Cooking, produced with the aid of the Rural Development Plan for Wales, contains 10 fantastic recipes that are perfect for the different activities that students will experience during their time at university. These include revision food, recipes that are great for film nights with flat mates and even a hangover cure!

Recipes include creamy, pepper steak pasta and the Welsh Beef and lager curry, which will also offer students more choice than beans on toast.

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