A top tip for expanding your children's palates: Go sushi

As Yo! Sushi opens a sushi school, Claire Spreadbury takes her children along, to see if she can encourage them to try different foods

Claire Spreadbury's daughter, Rosie, making sushi

HEALTHY, perfectly-portioned nibbly food – what's not to love about sushi? And if you can get your children to like it too, you have a new eating-out option up your sleeve – which always makes a nice change from pizza.

Yo! Sushi have introduced Sushi School, and kids from five to 12 years old can join a Mini Ninja class, where they learn how to make sushi – and then eat it.

My daughters, Rosie (eight) and Poppy (six) seem to be getting fussier by the day, so booking them in during the school holidays seemed like a great way to get them trying new foods. When I first mentioned it, there were sideways glances and screwed up noses – neither of them wanted to go anywhere near sushi, let alone try it. But a quick Google, revealing an array of rainbow-coloured rawness, and food art showcasing sushi crafted into cakes, flowers and dragons, definitely ignited a little intrigue.

What does the class involve?

When we arrive at the restaurant, the girls start by donning black hats, and gloves which they rub a little oil on to. The children (there are nine in our class) are shown how to take some of the rice and shape it into a rectangle. They make a couple of these, lay some fresh salmon on top, and it makes nigiri – easy!

Then they're handed a sheet of flattened seaweed, and are told to put the rice on the rough (as opposed to the shiny) side, so it looks nice. The girls listen intently as they're shown how to place rice in the corner, shaping it into a love heart, before adding cucumber and salmon – and then rolling the whole thing into an ice-cream cone shape.

Next up come the cucumber makis, and everyone's warned that this one is pretty difficult, because it involves a bamboo sushi mat –

used every time Yo! Sushi make rolls, whether they're big or small.

It is a trickier process, but even Poppy manages to make makis with a teeny bit of help.

After half an hour, the class is done, and the kids are given boxes to place their sushi in, which they can either take home or sit down and eat.

What's the verdict?

The class was great and the girls really enjoyed themselves. It got them eating something different, learning a new skill and we now have a new place to go out for dinner.

For £15 per person, it's good value too, especially considering how much food they make. And if grown-ups fancy having a go, they can. Adult classes cost £30 per person (or £50 for two), and you can book private classes too. For more information, visit Yo! Sushi's website.

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