RGU students help Seaton school pupils cook up a storm

Wednesday 20 March 2024

RGU student helps school pupils in the kitchen
Dietetics students from RGU have partnered with Seaton Primary School to teach pupils how to cook quick, tasty meals and snacks while learning about the key nutritional benefits of a healthy relationship with food.

The five-week pilot project with primary seven children has been supported by charity Abernecessities and is the first of its kind for students of the integrated Master of Dietetics course.

The student-led sessions have included input from the young pupil participants, taking place at Seaton Community Church in Aberdeen on Tuesday afternoons. The focus is on engaging young people in the kitchen, helping the children to understand the balance of food needed for health, whilst bringing them all together for the social interaction of eating at the end of each session.

Harriet Young, from RGU’s School of Health Sciences, said: “This project has been a tremendous success for our students and the Seaton Primary School pupils. It is inspiring to see our students share their knowledge and support the young people to learn about food and empower them to have the confidence to do it themselves.  

“I hope this makes a positive impact on the pupils and students. A lot of preparation work has gone into this project, and it is fantastic that the young people from Seaton Primary School are benefitting through interactions with our students as they pick up essential skills for life.”

Dietetics student Jess Broadrick said: “In terms of the children’s learning it is a different style from classroom-based learning. We are trying to incorporate activities in the kitchen like cooking. We're also doing things in the hall with food models. So, it's a different style of education that hopefully, again, inspires the next generation to become dietitians in the future.”


While Scotland still tops the polls for one of the worst health cultures in Europe, the NHS is struggling to recruit to posts for professions such as dietetics. At its roots, the project is trying to ignite an interest in nutrition and food in young people to provide them with necessary and valuable skills for a better future. At the same time, it allows pupils to get to know some positive role models, in RGU students, who are training to be dietitians.   

RGU students met the budding chefs at the school at the start of February to find out what sort of dishes they were interested in putting together. Their aim was to make sure pupils have the confidence and skills required to be safe in the kitchen and know how to make simple inexpensive meals and snacks.

In addition, pupils also learnt about the kinds of foods we eat and what we need for a healthy mind and body. Seaton Primary School pupils have made their pizzas and brownies and tasted a variety of fruit that they had never previously tried. One of the most important parts was sitting down together to eat what had been created.

The children enjoyed the communal joys of cooking, such as choosing their favourite tunes to play on Spotify and eating as one when their meal was ready.  At the end of the session, children received a bag of ingredients to take home to make the meal or snack all over again alongside their family or guardians. 

Danielle Flecher-Horn, who co-founded Abernecessities with her mum Michelle, said: “We are immensely proud to collaborate with RGU on this exciting initiative and their impactful work with local children. AberNecessities recognises the profound importance of empowering young minds with essential food and cookery skills, laying the foundation for a healthier lifestyle.

“Teaching children to cook, make healthy food choices while being mindful of costs including ingredients, equipment and indeed power is crucial. It's a practical skill set that promotes self-sufficiency and better health, providing them with essential tools for a brighter future.”

Councillor Martin Greig, Convener of Aberdeen City Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee, said: “By working together with dietetics students from Robert Gordon University and local charity Abernecessities we are giving Primary 7 pupils at Seaton Primary School a wonderful opportunity to learn how to cook delicious meals that are nutritional and affordable. Not only are pupils learning these lifelong skills they are being given the ingredients to take home to share their new culinary skills with their families.”

Cookie Consent