As we approach the month of May, students across Wales will enter the exam season and face long hours of revision and preparation.
Teachers are often asked to provide practical healthy eating advice to their pupils who tend to let their eating habits slip during periods of stress and anxiety.
Good nutrition and a balanced diet are vital all year round but become crucial for boosting the concentration and energy levels of young people at this time.
This will be emphasised and explained by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) during a workshop in north Wales aimed at teachers of food, catering, food technology, home economics and nutrition courses.
The practical session will be held at Ysgol Rhiwabon, near Wrexham on 9 May. It will highlight the benefits of including red meat as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Teachers will also learn about the quality and versatility of Welsh red meat and will be provided with ideas on to how to include Welsh Lamb, Welsh Beef and pork from Wales in their lesson plans.
“Conscientious students will feel that preparing food is a waste of valuable revision time,” said Elwen Roberts, HCC’s Consumer Executive. “It is essential, however, that they eat a healthy breakfast, eat at regular intervals, consume lots of fruit and vegetables, stay hydrated and meet their daily nutrient requirements. This combination will improve general wellbeing and result in peak performance.
“During the course, I will distribute nutritious recipe ideas containing Welsh red meat, which can be replicated by teachers in the classroom. The preparation of these meals will involve a number of practical and useful cookery skills, including meat trimming and cutting, pastry making, baking and piping.”
These dishes will include Welsh Lamb cutlets stuffed with cheese, Welsh Beef cupcakes and a pork risotto with peas and leeks.
Mrs Roberts added: “Red meat is one of the best sources of iron, which is an essential mineral for increasing concentration, memory and effective learning. It also helps in the fight against tiredness and fatigue.
“Other essential nutrients are also contained in red meat, including zinc, which keeps the immune system healthy, and B vitamins which help release energy from the food we eat.
“The focus of the course will be on food skills, core competencies, cooking and nutrition in the curriculum. A number of free resources and recipe ideas suitable for KS3, GCSE and A-level courses will be available.”
An introduction to the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status awarded to Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef will be given during the morning session, as well as a practical butchery activity which will involve cutting a rack of Welsh Lamb into cutlets.
The course is free to attend and will be held between 9:00-13:00. Teachers interested in attending will need to contact HCC to register their attendance: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about healthy eating for young people and students can be found at: www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/lifestages/students.html