Southampton Children’s Hospital has teamed up with supermarket giant Waitrose to offer cookery sessions to children and young adults with kidney conditions along with their families.
The store in Salisbury will host the event over two days next week (14 and 15 August) offering sessions for three different age groups – eight to 12 years, 13 to 17 years and an adult class for patients aged 18 and over and parents of children affected by kidney disease.
The project has been organised by Dr Arvind Nagra, a consultant paediatric nephrologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with Caroline Anderson, paediatric renal dietitian, and Simon Page, manager of the Waitrose Cookery School in Salisbury.
The aim of the initiative is to help children and young adults with kidney conditions who have significant limitations to their diet learn how to make fun, easy and delicious recipes that suit their dietary needs.
The nephrology service covers the full spectrum of kidney – or renal – conditions in children, providing care for children with acute and chronic renal failure including haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
The unit, which also looks after children before and after transplant, is one of only 13 in the UK and treats patients from across the south and Channel Islands.
“For both children and their parents, adjusting to the restrictions to diet that come with having a kidney condition can be challenging and, for some, overwhelming,” said Dr Nagra, who is also patient experience lead for the British Association of Paediatric Nephrology.
“Correct nutrition is very important and the aim of the course is to offer education about what family favourites and other tasty recipes can still be enjoyed while also being suitable for their conditions.”
Mr Page said: “I’ve seen firsthand how hard it can be to eat healthy and tasty food with restrictions from renal-related illnesses and I’ve also seen the happiness it can bring when someone with those dietary requirements is shown simple ways they can improve what they eat.
“I feel really privileged to work for a business that has given me the freedom to do something that has the potential to teach important life skills and give a few hours of fun.”
Paul Bristow, interim chief executive of Kidney Care UK, added: “Every day we hear from kidney patients who are frustrated and confused about the restricted diet they have to follow.
“We are passionate about giving people with kidney disease the opportunity to discover all the incredible things they can eat as well as simple and practical tips to help bring flavour to their food, such as using different herbs and spices instead of salt.”
He added: “It’s not only patients with kidney disease who are affected but also their families, so initiatives like this are fantastic. What a great way to learn about healthy, nutritious food and find ways to live life to the full.”
The chosen recipes will be shared with the wider kidney patient community. For more information or details on how to book a place on the course, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how to support Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity or to make a donation to the children’s renal unit, call 023 8120 8881, email email@example.com or visit www.schcharity.org.uk.