London:Teenagers will be given compulsory cooking lessons at school for the first time, under government plans to ensure all pupils know how to make a healthy meal.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls is asking the public to come up with ideas for the classic English dishes and international cuisine that children should learn to cook.
But the emphasis will be on making sure pupils can master simple, healthy recipes using fresh ingredients, the Department for Children, Schools and Families said.
From this September, every 11-14 year-old in the 85% of schools currently offering food technology classes will be taught practical cookery.
The remaining 15% of secondaries will be expected to teach the compulsory classes by 2011.
Mr Balls wants members of the public to suggest the dishes to be taught. They must be healthy, easy to prepare and the kind of meals that teenagers will want to eat.
He is asking anyone with suggestions to email the Government.
The announcement comes as part of the Government's obesity strategy, Mr Balls will launch with Health Secretary Alan Johnson on Wednesday.
Mr Balls told the Daily Mirror: "Teaching kids to cook healthy meals is an important way school scan help produce healthy adults.
"My mum was passionate about all this and bought me my first Delia Smith book."
Edited & Published By Raj Francis Pereira