PUPILS at a county primary school are set to swap textbooks for cookbooks after school in their healthy dinners club.

Children in all year groups will take part in the weekly cook club at Withington Primary School, taking it in turns to learn how to prepare a healthy dinner to take home for their whole family to eat.

The project was recently boosted by £9,470 lottery funding and Louisa Foti, the woman behind the club, is promoting the importance of teaching young children about healthy eating.

"I think it's essential. To get them at primary school age is just brilliant and hopefully they will carry on through secondary school. They are so responsive to new ideas and really interested and they are all so enthusiastic. I think it's such a good thing to do,” she said.

At each session Ms Foti, who is the cook club leader, an assistant, and eight children prepare a healthy dinner to take home for their family.

It's been going since last half term and the children take part in five cook club sessions in a row before the baton is passed to a new group.

“The idea is for them to do as much as they can for themselves and take a meal home for their family, so we find out about whether there are any allergies or any vegetarians in the family," said Ms Foti.

"They are always going to be healthy with at least two portions of vegetables as well as wholegrain if we can."

Ms Foti, who also writes a healthy food and lifestyle family-friendly blog, had worked with children and their teachers on various healthy eating projects at the school previously.

"We were doing lots of cooking sessions but it was my idea to get them a little bit more involved and get them cooking for their family", she said.

"I think it's going to be really positive and it's great to have had the funding.

"We are trying to have really balanced meals and I have purposely picked vegetarian and fish dishes so it's not all meat – we encourage a variety of different foods.”

Most of the vegetables are provided by Growing Local is Going Local, a not-for-profit community interest company delivering locally grown vegetables to schools, organisations and communities within Hereford and the surrounding area so there is also emphasis on using seasonal, local produce.

The healthy dinners club takes place on a Tuesday evening at Withington Primary School.

To find out more about Ms Foti visit eatyourveg.co.uk