YOUNGSTERS found out how to bake their own delicious shortbread with the help of a former professional cook this week.

The Baking with David sessions took place at Swindon Garden Centre on Tuesday and were led by 22-year-old restaurant manager David Warren.

On Tuesday, about 10 youngsters turned up to make shortbread, while the parents enjoyed a free cup of tea or coffee, and browsed the shelves of the garden centre.

David, who was a chef at Garden Centre Group, which runs the centre, for five years, said: “The sessions are fantastic for the children because they learn to make something completely from scratch, and they take the recipe away with them so they have a new snack they can actually produce at home.

“We’ve done 13 sessions so far and one little girl has come to every single one and she has a folder with all the different recipes.

“Her parents have said she’s only six but she will never stop talking about being a chef now.

“It’s really inspiring children to make things from scratch. When I was growing up, my mum told me it was very important to make things from raw ingredients.

“In the restaurant we only make things from scratch so I think it’s really important to put that sort of ethos into children nowadays. It doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be very rewarding.”

At the sessions, which are designed for those aged from four to 11, the children enjoy a packed lunch, followed by drawing, colouring and games. There is then a big sing song build-up to when David appears.

On Tuesday, there is another session when youngsters can make chocolate chip muffins, and the week after that it will be flapjacks.

David said that since the sessions started in February, interest had grown, but Tuesday was slightly quieter due to the summer holidays.

He said: “The aim is to teach children about the importance of knowing how to cook and how to cook hygienically, and also to give the parents a bit of a break.

“I know when I was little my mum would have given anything to have had 10 minutes’ break and that was originally part of the idea. During the summer holidays, because a lot of people are away, we’re actually been a bit quieter but we usually have 15 to 16 children.”

The workshops, which run from 3.30pm to 5pm, cost £5.95, which includes a lunch of sandwiches, snacks, desserts and a choice of fresh fruit. Book in advance by calling 01793 822224.