One thousand people attended a food festival at a school where children got to try free samples of healthy meals and find out about working in the food industry when they grow up.

The festival at Dagenham’s Beam County Primary School had food tastings like jerk chicken, jollof rice and biryani for youngsters to try.

The tastings were a big hit with the children. “We got to try every different food,” eight-year-old Sienna McKenzie in Year 3 said. “And it was all free.”

Parents also sampled different cuisines and food cultures and were invited to share their own recipes and thoughts which are being made into a community cookbook.

Organisations including plant-based entrepreneurs like Vegan Food’N’Vibes and Healthy Mind displayed healthy eating while Company Drinks social enterprise gave out information about careers in hospitality.

The festival has been touring schools as part of Barking and Dagenham Council’s programme to promote healthier, low-cost fresh food with resources and land for growing produce.