COMMUNITY cooking classes have been launched to encourage people to eat more healthily.

Participants donned aprons as they learned how to make soup and fruit crumble at one of the sessions at Rainbow Family Centre in Port Glasgow on Monday.

The Community Food Network classes, an offshoot of Inverclyde Community Development Trust's 'Food to Fork' healthy cooking and growing project, aim to show people not only how to eat healthily but also how to save money.

Mum Jeanette Glancy, who lives in Montgomerie Street, Port Glasgow, said she has found the class extremely helpful.

The 59-year-old said: "I used to just buy jars of stuff but now I'm learning the basics and it's so much better and healthier.

"So far I've made shepherds pie, soup, fajitas, chicken curry and fruit crumble."

Jacqui Archibald from Port Glasgow, says she's learned a lot about what to cook for her 12-week old baby boy Timothy.

The 39-year-old said: "It's really good to learn different things each week.

"It's also a great way to meet other mums.

"I used to eat pre-packed and pre-made food so it's great to cook from scratch.

"I've also learned about what I can puree for my son when he's a bit older and he's going onto solid food."

Fellow new mum Claire Millar, mother to four month old Jessica, is enjoying the social aspect.

The 42-year-old said: "It's great to get advice from other mums.

"I also come along to the toddlers, the baby massage and the book bug group, so Rainbow Family Centre is great for me and Jessica.

"The staff are great."

Catherine McIntyre, a family support worker at Rainbow says the classes are proving popular.

She said: "Some people come along and they know a bit about cooking and some people have no clue.

"It's all about encouraging people to cook on a budget, and how it's good to batch cook and freeze what you make.

"It's also a good way to bring people together."

The classes are part of the Community Food Network run by Inverclyde Community Development Trust's 'Food to Fork' project in partnership with Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership and other community groups.