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Cookery stars Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley teach Camden schoolgirls the art of healthy eating

PUBLISHED: 11:06 24 November 2014

Jasmine (centre, left) and Melissa Hemsley (centre, right) with pupils at Parliament Hill School. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Jasmine (centre, left) and Melissa Hemsley (centre, right) with pupils at Parliament Hill School. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Pupils at a Camden girls school were given a masterclass in healthy eating by two rising cookery stars as part of a charity initiative in memory of a Highgate schoolgirl.

Sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, whose new book The Art of Eating Well has raced up the bestsellers chart, showed girls at Parliament Hill School, in Highgate Road, Dartmouth Park, how to create healthy sweet snacks on Thursday, November 13.

The visit was part of a 10-week healthy eating programme funded by the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF), a Highgate youth charity set up by Lindsey Wylie following the death of her 17-year-old daughter Alexandra, who lost her battle with cancer in 2010.

Former lingerie model Jasmine, 34, and her younger sister Melissa, 29, spoke to girls at the school about the importance of healthy eating.

The sisters also demonstrated how to rustle up a sweet snack without refined sugar, using coconut, tahini and honey.

Melissa, who grew up in Surrey and used to live in Gloucester Avenue, Primrose Hill, told the Ham&High: “What we wanted to talk about today, because it’s getting close to Christmas, is sugar.

“We were saying your average person eats about 30 to 40 teaspoons of sugar every day.

“We showed the girls a little energy snack without refined sugar, which is perfect for that time between lunch and supper when you need a little sustenance.

“If they ate that in break times, I think you would see such a massive difference in moods, concentration and overall well-being.

“Sugar depletes your system. Not only is it not adding anything good, it uses up energy to be processed.

“I think we have to teach kids to cook to prepare them for life. You’ve got to feed yourself three times a day and you’ve got to understand it.”

The AWTF healthy eating programme is being funded by donations from local residents who attended the charity’s Pinknic event in Waterlow Park, Highgate, in September.

Mrs Wylie, whose daughter attended Channing School in Highgate, said: “We are excited to have this opportunity to improve awareness of the importance of healthy eating.

‘‘The aim of the course is to show how easy it is to prepare healthy, inexpensive and delicious snacks and meals.

“We are delighted to be working with Parliament Hill School to give children the skills to prepare nutritious meals at home.”

Parliament Hill School deputy headteacher Susan Collen said: “The Hemsley sisters are not the first special guest tutors on the course. Two weeks ago, model and lifestyle blogger Tia Ward came into school to speak to the students about the link between healthy eating and beauty.”

For more information about AWTF, visit awtf.org

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