PUPILS at Hampshire schools got a taste for local produce at a series of food workshops.

The children at Bishop’s Waltham and Denmead junior schools took part in the events sponsored by the Southern Co-operative.

Year 3 and 4 youngsters were taught about slow release energy, seasonal eating and food miles by home economist Davina Tibbets before tucking into produce donated by local firms Hylands, Stainers and Atkinsons.

In Denmead, year six children learned how to strike the right balance at every meal with a talk by nutritional therapist Annali Court before tucking into the goodies donated by TSC.

The workshops are part of a wider programme of activities organised by Winchester City Council’s Market Towns Development Officers with the financial support of The Southern Co-operative with the aim of connecting young people with their local town centres, shops and communities.

Andreea Tudor, community and campaigns coordinator for The Southern Co-operative said: “The workshops were a great opportunity for pupils to learn about food mileage and where they can buy fresh products locally.

“The pupils were fantastic on the day, trying new food and sharing their thoughts with us on taste and texture of food.

“ I am hoping that this will give them the enthusiasm and appetite to try local products in the future and encourage their parents to do the same.”

Cllr Rob Humby, pictured, portfolio holder for Business Partnerships for Hampshire County Council, said: “This initiative succeeds in teaching our young people where their food comes from and encourages them, and their parents, to make informed decisions on shopping locally.”

Both groups of school children have now been tasked with designing a new healthy dish using local produce. The winning meals will appear on the menu at a local restaurant with some of the proceeds going back to the schools to fund new cookery equipment.