CHILDREN are discovering the names of exotic fruits and vegetables and where they come from through a pioneering project.

Staff at the Tesco Extra store in Widnes are running practical workshops entitled 'Farm to fork' to encourage youngsters to lead healthier lifestyles.

So far, 1,300 of Halton's primary school pupils have followed the journey which takes them round the various fresh produce departments in the giant supermarket as they develop their knowledge.

Farm to fork trail guide Alex Barnes, aged 23, a former Wade Deacon pupil from Farnworth, said: "We are trying to reconnect children with their food so that they have a positive outlook on healthy eating.

"They always seem shocked when they realise fruit and vegetables come from so far away. "

Sessions are tailor made to suit each age group and are adapted to fit in with their current curriculum.

Five-year-olds are challenged to match the fresh produce to a rainbow whilst older pupils take part in a treasure hunt.

Alex said: "Aubergines puzzle most children and many are surprised to find out that lemon grass comes from Thailand."

They watch a butcher carve a joint and a fishmonger fillet a fish.

They are shown inside giant chillers in the warehouse and watch bakers prepare speciality breads for the oven.

Children are then invited to test a selection of fresh fruit or different breads.

They are given a healthy recipe, certificate, activity sheet and piece of fruit to take home.

The team hopes to inspire pupils from Halton's 56 primary schools by the end of the year.

Teachers wishing to take part can e-mail