Make Pancakes from Scratch, it’s easy

I don’t often post press releases but this one is for a decent charity and it’s something I care passionately about. If parents can’t even be bothered to cook pancakes from scratch we really are looking at a grim situation.


Welsh fine artist Nathan Wyburn, creates popular icon Justin Bieber out of pancakes for Community Channel’s Real Food Revolution season.

Children out of the mix on Pancake Day

 The traditional joy of making and tossing pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is in danger of vanishing, says Community Channel, as almost a third of Brits (31%) admit to never cooking pancakes from scratch, and 41 per cent are unable to name the three basic ingredients for one of our simplest dishes.

Community Channel, which carried out the research as part of its Real Food Revolution season, looked at pancake making as part of a wider drive to get children – and their families – back into the kitchen and in touch with their food.

A quarter (25%) of parents questioned, said they rarely or never cook pancakes with their children on Pancake Day.

To encourage children and young people to embrace the joy of pancake making, Welsh fine artist Nathan Wyburn, known for his pop-art celebrity portraits, has created pop icon Justin Bieber using only pancakes and toppings for Community Channel’s Real Food Revolution season.


Alex Kann, director of Community Channel, said: “Whisk, toss, eat, repeat, is a happy Pancake Day memory for many of us as children.  Pancake making is often a first chance for children to get involved in cooking – to witness simple ingredients being turned into something edible, and to enjoy the spectacle of pancake tossing. Nine per cent of parents we surveyed admitted that it’s one of the only times of the year their children get involved with cooking.


“This is part of a much wider problem we are witnessing around the country: a population increasingly out of touch with its food.  We are reliant on pre-prepared, packaged ingredients or ready-meals with a dizzying list of ingredients most of us wouldn’t be able to name, and a generation of children unable to recognise common fruits and vegetables, let alone being able to cook them.”


In recent years, manufacturers have reported rises in sales of pancake mix and ready-made pancakes.  Sold in most supermarkets, with prices from 15p to £5 or more, many brands advertise how easy their mixes are to use. But it leaves younger generations unaware of how simple the traditional method of whisking together flour, eggs and milk really is.


Almost a third (30%) of 18-24 year olds confessed to never making pancakes from scratch, compared to 14 per cent of 35-44 year olds.  And almost three times as many of the younger group say they buy ready-made pancakes or pancake mix (13% of 18-24 year olds compared to 5% of 35-44 year olds).


Maggie Sims, head of cookery at the Children’s Food Trust, said: “Get children cooking young and they’ll love it for life. In our work getting families cooking all over the country, we see even really fussy eaters trying new flavours and dishes simply because they’ve been involved in preparing them. Cooking is a life skill which every child needs to learn if they’re going to grow up to be healthier adults – that’s why we’re on a mission to get the nation cooking again, and pancakes are a great first step.”

Nathan Wyburn said: “Food is something to be enjoyed and the ideal way to unleash your creativity – too many people are nervous of getting hands on in the kitchen.  The earlier young people realise the fun they can have with food, the better.  I have been working with food as a non-traditional material for my artworks for several years, it allows me to be tongue-in-cheek and capture a unique side to my subjects.”


Across the UK there is a growing movement of people who are taking back control over the food we eat – from growing, sharing and selling to cooking and eating. Their stories are told throughout February as part of Real Food Revolution season, created by Community Channel in partnership with Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and over thirty food organisations from across the UK to celebrate those who are changing our approach to food.


Real Food Revolution broadcasts on Community Channel throughout February 2016 on Freeview HD 63, Sky 539, Virgin 269, freesat 651.  Food Rebels premieres at 10pm on 1 February and at the same time each week.


For more information, full listings and to catch up on episodes, visit


About Matt Lovell

A sports nutritionist and brand ambassador for Kinetica Sports. Matt also runs his own elite performance based company called Perform and Function.

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