Play and skills at tea-time activities (PASTA)

PASTA is a fun, friendly activity programme where families can cook, play and spend time together.

It is for children aged five to eight and their families, including older and younger siblings.

PASTA runs once a week for a minimum of six weeks and is for families in specific wards in Lancashire.

It's a chance to:

  • learn to cook easy, affordable meals
  • get support and encourage your family to try healthy foods
  • take part in fun physical activities
  • socialise with other families

Hear from PASTA families

Don't take our word for it. Hear what families have said about PASTA:

"I’d never even cooked a meal from scratch before, the closest I got was putting nuggets in the oven. I can cook a meal now and everyone eats it. We feel better too!"

"My children will try new foods now and are eating fruit and vegetables that they wouldn’t before."

Watch our video or read the video transcript to find out more about PASTA and what families think about the programme.

PASTA is a programme for children aged five to eight and their families, including older and younger siblings.

PASTA is a fun, friendly space where families can cook, play and spend time together and takes place in identified wards in each of Lancashire’s 12 districts.

PASTA is delivered in a range of community spaces including schools play centres and community centres. Sessions run after school once a week, and families attend for a minimum of six weeks.

It’s split into two different parts so families take part in physical activity which is really just like fun family games and then they'll learn how to cook a healthy affordable meal.

PASTA is a good club because it's a really good time to spend with my family, cooking and playing games to be healthy.

My son is a very fussy eater. Sometimes I can't get him to eat fruit and vegetables now he'll try everything that he makes here and he wants to remake the things we've made here at home. He’s a very sporty person so obviously the sport really brings him on as well.

The activities, the sports are getting me fit as well with them. It's great bonding, socialising with other families as well and the majority of families that are on this course are in the same position as me. We never know what to cook for tea it's always the same old same old, and just simplifying a few ingredients you knock up a great meal.

With this program these kids want to be involved in the cooking side of things. They’re seeing other kids eat it so they'll try it. It's trying new things that they've never had before.

I learned how to make different sorts of food like couscous, burritos, rice, curry.

It was actually in PASTA club that he tried his first ever pepper. He loved it so now whenever we're cooking at home: ‘Are you gonna put peppers in it?’ Otherwise he’d hate peppers, hate onions and it was stuff that I wouldn't put in his food because I knew he wouldn't eat it.

Sometimes I play the games while you're blind and you taste stuff and you see what you like and sometimes you play a shopping game.

She absolutely loves looking at the traffic lights on labels, she likes looking at recipes that she would like to try. She's made friends, she's gained confidence.

Through active play and cooking,
families are able to spend quality time with each other in a fun, friendly environment. They have chance to discuss budgeting, nutrition, food groups and the benefits of regular exercise, as well as wider health matters like oral health. And to help families maintain their healthy changes after taking part in PASTA the team can signpost people towards other resources and groups that they might find useful.

We know how hard things can be sometimes, especially the cost of living, and it's just about taking some things away from that workload sometimes and actually just to come to PASTA and take part in it as a family and to take away some food, you know it just helps lift that load just a little bit.

To be honest with you it wasn't something I was interested in at first, but one of my friends has just finished the course and she just would not let it drop: ‘You're gonna love it.’ So because of her I thought fine you know what, I'll go to one session see what it's like… four weeks down the line I'm still here, it's amazing.

I come to PASTA with my mum and my little brother, just to have fun with them spend time with them.

I like PASTA club because I like learning new things.

PASTA club has encouraged me and my children to cook easy meals at an affordable price. I want to be able to give them the best skills and a healthy meal into them and them watching and coming here is giving them good skills later on for their future.

Wards where PASTA is available

PASTA is for families with children aged five to eight living in or attending schools in the following wards:

  • Burnley - Hapton with Park, Daneshouse with Stoneyholme, Rosegrove
  • Pendle - Bradley, Horsfield, Reedley
  • Rossendale - Longholme, Worsley
  • Hyndburn - Central, Spring Hill, Rishton
  • Ribble Valley - Edisford and Lowmoor
  • Preston - Fishwick, Ribbleton, St Matthew’s, University
  • Chorley - Coppull, SW Chorley, Clayton-le-Woods N
  • South Ribble - Seven Stars, Broadfield, Bamber Bridge W
  • West Lancs - Digmoor, Tanhouse, Upholland
  • Fylde - medlar with Wesham
  • Wyre - Rossall
  • Lancaster - Skerton E, Harbour, Westgate

Funding for the programme has been provided by the Public Health Team at Lancashire County Council. We are working with a range of partners who run PASTA sessions in local venues like schools, community centres and leisure facilities.

Contact us

To find out more about the PASTA programme, apply for a place on a PASTA programme near you, or if you have any other enquiries please email