loopyloulaura

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My new job as a food technician

So, I am currently 2 weeks into my temporary job as a food technician at the school where I invigilate exams. It has been an eye opening experience!
I’ll be honest that many of the tasks I have to complete are quite mundane like doing washing and folding tea towels. However, it can also be totally manic when I need to prepare 42 lots of gingernut biscuit ingredients!
Food technology at this school is quite different to my own school days. Back then, we had to bring in everything from home. Mum hated it and in fact declared I wasn’t allowed to take Food Tech for GCSE due to the faff involved. Today, the majority of the ingredients are provided. I can see the sense in this as it reduces the strain on parents and also ensures that cooking can actually go ahead. But how do the children learn responsibility…?

Last week we made fruit crumble and I prepared 20 bowls of crumble ingredients but the children were required to bring in their own fruit. At least 6 children didn’t so were unable to complete the recipe.
I know from my exam experience that children are frustrating in their inability to remember anything, even the basics of a black pen to enable them to write!
This week, the Year 11s have been doing their catering coursework and even though they are supposed to have practised their recipes and brought in everything, there have been instances when ingredients have not been brought in and I have had to dash to the shop to fetch them.

I have also been quite smug as my own rather crappy efforts at cooking suddenly make me look like a domestic goddess compared to the children’s ability. They were making spaghetti bolognese and the sight of them hacking at onions and leaving skin on when adding to the pan was eye wateringly painful.
It has reinforced my decision to make my children cook a meal a week at home when they get to secondary school in order to prepare them for later life (Matthew is only 9 but is going to attempt a bolognese this week…)
Children are creative sponges so we need to encourage them to develop their culinary skills. We owe it to them as parents and education workers to prepare the for their future lives, thinking about balanced diets, combatting obesity and encouraging a healthy attitude to food.
Do you have secondary school aged children and how is food tech/catering dealt with at their schools?


18 comments

  1. It sounds like such an interesting job.
    When my youngest was at her old school she was given her ingredients just like your school but now at her new school we are back to having to measure out everything at home and taking it all in. It is such a faff but it’s teaching them to be prepared and organiesed.
    It is a shame kids are letting themselves down by not bringing in what they need.
    Good on you for making your kids cook. It does prepare them for when they are an adult. My teen can cook quite a few proper meals and my youngest is learning x

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  3. My friend has three kids about 10, 8, and 7 who have been cooking for years. She assigned them each to a day of the week and they each give her a list of ingredients they need for the recipe they’ve chosen. It’s really shocking how great they are in the kitchen, plus it gives them one on one time with their mom or dad. Now that they’re so good at managing the task, she’s made them also plan out a dessert to include with the meal. Such a great skill that so many kids are missing and I’m glad you are working hard to get another generation to learn! #DreamTeamLinky

  4. Leaving the skin on the onion made me laugh! My daughter is only 2.5yo but we are already trying to get her involved and excited about food as I think it is really important to create healthy diet and eating habits. For example, I let her scramble the egg or sprinkle some salt in a dish. Good luck with the new job! #DreamTeamLinky

  5. Oooh this sounds like a really fun job to be involved in. It was the same when I was at school in that you had to bring everything in, including things like cookie cutters / cup cake cases etc. These days it’s so much better isn’t it. Opps – onions with skins on! I wonder how that happened! Though cutting onions aren’t that much fun, so I expect mums and dads take the reins with that at home. #DreamTeamLinkly xx

  6. I always enjoyed food tech but yes we had to bring in the ingredients and I didn’t always remember ! I find cooking a meal from scratch enjoyable and I intend to pass this onto my kids when they get older #DreamTeam

  7. Steve (Thediaryofdad)

    How I wish I had given more attention to this subject in my school days. It is so crucial for kids to learn to cook early on or they can end up like me!
    #dreamteamlinky

  8. My daughter had to take all her ingredients into school however, I am guilty of prepping most of the food for her. I even chopped onions for her, I don’t know what I was thinking. I won’t be making that mistake again with my younger two. x x #DreamTeam

  9. Well done on the job and for encouraging your kids to help out in the kitchen. I like the idea, but even as teens I actuallt would rather have them out of the way. That said they have to cook for themselves now a couple of times a week which does them good. #DreamTeam

  10. A friend of mine went to university and ate pot noodles for his entire time because he couldn’t cook. Thanks to him I am determined that my boys will have a few basic meals under their belts.
    I can remember those days off carrying all the ingredients into school for food technology. I think my Mum quite liked it as it meant she didn’t need to cook in the evenings as we always made plenty at school! #DreamTeam

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  12. My kids love cooking which I love as it’s such a skill. I can’t believe some tear 11’s haven’t got their ingredients for their coursework. Having a year 11 child I know how important that is. Well done you looking after them

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