Spud Squad: Keeping kids potato-savvy

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THE Spud Squad, an initiative created by Branston, a UK supplier of fresh, seed and prepared potatoes, has continued to provide potato-based activities and ideas for children throughout 2021, even while the shows and events it is usually involved in were cancelled or postponed as a result of COVID-19. 

As a longstanding supporter of the Schools Challenge at the Lincolnshire Show, Branston sponsored a new competition for schools in April this year.  

Despite the cancellation of this year’s Lincolnshire Show, the LAS Education team was keen to ensure schools still had opportunities to take part in activities promoting the importance of food production, farming and a sustainable environment. There were four special competitions this year and as a way of encouraging new ways to cook potatoes, Branston sponsored The Great Lincolnshire Schools Tate Off.

This competition provided students with the opportunity to engage with local seasonal produce to create a potato-based recipe, developing their culinary and nutritional awareness. Students were encouraged to be as creative and imaginative as possible – either adding a twist to an existing recipe or inventing one from scratch.

The winning recipes featured in a special recipe e-book (which can be downloaded here) and the winning entrant from each category had the chance to take part in a virtual cooking session with a local chef as well as being awarded special prizes.

The winning recipes were selected by Lincolnshire chefs Charlotte and Steve Bennett, Dan Wallis, Sam Owen and Darren Rogan. 

The Spud Squad website also encouraged children to get their creative juices flowing with a selection of free downloadable resources and ideas for things to make and do while they were staying at home.

Inspired by the live activities the Spud Squad usually sets up at shows and schools events each summer, the team behond the initiative adapted "tatie-themed activities" for children to try, with games, challenges and mini craft projects, which it updated on a weekly basis.

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