Friday, 14 September 2018

Cooking And Eating Healthy Food at Uni with the Co-op And Britmums

I have 3 young adults off to uni this September and 2 of them are freshers in their first year. It's a scary time for them, but also for me, and I've tried to prepare them all for independence as best I can. This includes making sure they can cook themselves something hearty and filling without breaking the bank or missing out on the nutrition they'll need to stay healthy.


I'm delighted to be working with Co-op Food on a campaign to get students cooking and eating healthy meals. It really is something I'm passionate about and I've even put together all of my family's favourite and most-used recipes, as well as a few others, on my recipes page. I have tried to keep costs down, skill levels easy and nutritional value high. There is rarely a prouder moment than when I discover one of my young people cooking from one of my recipes.


The Co-op meanwhile show their commitment to students by offering a 10% discount at over 2000 stores nationwide with a TOTUM card (previously called NUS Extra). This starts at £12 a year, so you can get your money back very quickly just on Co-op food shopping. That's on top of the regular Co-op member rewards.


I was asked if I'd like to create one of our favourite family meals as a special leaving meal for one of my young people. One of our teenagers has already started at uni and the rest are always busy, however we managed to get 6 of the family together and have a goodbye meal for my 18 year old daughter.


A huge favourite here is tacos and taco night was always a treat. I like it because everyone can put together their own tacos however they like them - and everyone includes some veg or salad without argument. We set off to our local Co-op to get the ingredients, with my 9 year old future comedy film producer on the camera...


My daughter's kitchen skills are pretty good I think. She usually chooses to make stir fry, so it was really nice to encourage her to make something different and have a little practice before she has to do it alone. Even the budgeting is a real eye-opener at first. This table full cost exactly £50. (Comedy cat not included).


The tacos were great and everyone had a full tummy. It was a lovely send off and made me quite excited for Christmas, which will be the next time all of our children will be here at once. Family mealtime is something you take for granted until it becomes a rarity, then you realise just how special it is.


I am genuinely a massive fan of the Co-op and I've been a member of my local branch since I moved out aged 19. That's almost 30 years. As a member, when you buy selected products and services, including from food stores and Co-op Electricals, you earn 5% of your spend back.

The Co-op own brand range provides good quality, ethically-sourced food at very fair prices. with free-range eggs and a commitment to sustainably-managed agriculture, low impact production and minimising waste. All of the Co-op own brand fresh meat is from UK farmers.


Aside from caring about the actual produce itself, The Co-op have a very strong policy on Human Rights and Trading, and support local community initiatives as well as UK and worldwide issues. Their current main campaigns are tackling and raising awareness of Loneliness and Modern Slavery, but 1% of the money you spend goes to local causes within your own community.

A little bit later in the year I'll be checking up on my daughter to see if she is eating sensibly and cooking those family favourites she grew up with. You can find out more about the Co-op and their commitment to good quality family meals and to students, by checking out the Co-op Food website or by following on Twitter CoopUKFood, where you can also keep up-to-date with the latest offers.


I’m working in a paid relationship with The Co-op and BritMums to get students cooking and eating healthy meals ~ sponsored by The Co-op. Visit https://food.coop.co.uk/ to plan a meal that brings your family together.

22 comments:

  1. I love how true and honest this is! Student are going to eat rubbish a lot of the time but having the skills to make low cost health meals sometimes will make a huge difference to their wellbeing (and bank balance!)

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    1. Awww thank you Jen. I really do think if you can cook then you can pretty much always eat something that's better and far cheaper than fast food or instant food! :)

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  2. The meal looks really nice and you've even persuaded me to give it a try and you know ho much I love meat! A fantastic video with a super sweet ending, she is going to have a fabulous time at uni! I didn't realise the Coop offer students with the card a discount, that is awesome - love them even more for that! Knowing how to cook and also batch cook will save her a fortune at uni xxx

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    1. I think it'll take me a while to get used to only cooking for 4! I'm sure we'll have leftovers a lot for the first month or so :D Thanks Sim, it's so good to know it looks good to meatatarians as well!

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  3. I bet it’s going to take you a while to adapt to not cooking up so much for the family seeing as you will be there less!

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    1. I know! I'm going to have to be so careful not to over-cater. I think we'll be on leftovers a lot until I get the hang of cooking for 4! :D

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  4. What a tasty looking meal. I love the video. Such a lovely family meal. Good luck to your children going to uni x

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    1. Thank you Kim! 2 have gone now and it's going well so far for them. I'm dreading the 3rd one going back myself though - I'll be over-catering for months :D

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  5. I love tacos and they work so well. My family like everything a little bit different too so this was a great family choice. I hope you daughter has a great time settling in at uni but I totally get how you will be feeling. I only have one to send off, I would be in a complete meltdown if 3 of mine were going to uni this year

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    1. I'm attempting not to have the meltdown hahaha :D
      Especially when there were 9 of us it was so hard to make something everyone enjoyed. Tacos was always a great tea :)

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  6. Love that you were able to get so much of the family together. I really like your video on YouTube too, with everyone totting up the cost of what you're spending along the way. That's what they'll be doing at uni!

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    1. Yes, totally. My daughter really does have a good idea now of just how much things cost. Hopefully it'll mean she doesn't run out of money this week waiting for her grant! :D
      I can't wait for Christmas when we get everyone together again :)

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  7. As student, it is always important to save money. With this totum card discount, it is such a great saving!

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    1. It really is! I didn't know about that until now - 10% off is great :)

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  8. I can imagine it's easy for students to eat rubbish meals. This one gets A* as you could make a batch and then use it so many different ways!

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    1. It is brilliant for that - I always tended to make extra, I'm going to have to be careful now - I think I'll be over-catering for ages :D

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  9. I am dreading mine getting to this stage! Sounds like you have done a great job preparing them for uni life. Those tacos look amazing!

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    1. Awww thank you! They're so easy too. I can only do my best, and they'll only eat what they want in the end :D

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  10. I wish I had discovered tacos before I went to uni - they always sounded more complicated to make than they actually are!
    We have a coop locally and I use it regularly - i love their bakery section, they do a lovely cherry pie!

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    1. Ooooh, I love the bakery too. I am always jealous of the kids because I let them have a hot sausage roll each :D

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  11. That’s a meal that even goes down well with my fussy eater. I’m going to mention the Coop discount to my niece as her and her boyfriend have just gone back to Uni to complete their Masters.

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    1. Yes please do! I had no idea. I can't believe my son has already been at uni for 2 years and he didn't realise either :D

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