A VEGAN pirate will be teaching scallywags to cook and eat their greens.

Captain James Tea Cook, whose real name is Tony Bishop Weston, is to host healthy cooking workshops at VegfestUK Brighton later this month.

The award-winning vegan chef will be teaching children under 16 about essential nutrition and vitamins.

Mr Weston said: “I dress as a pirate and as the Mad Hatter because children are more responsive if I host workshops as different characters.

“I will be teaching children about the five fundamental rules for health.

“These include eating food with essential fats, five portions of vegetables, drinking water and staying active.

“I will also educate them about which foods to eat. For example, white flour is not healthy because when processed it loses 20 types of vitamins and minerals so we should try to eat food made from brown flour instead.

“Children can learn which ingredients they can use to cook healthy meals. For example, they can include chia or flax seeds in their food.”

Mr Weston has been a vegan for 25 years. The food writer posed for his first cookbook, Rainbows And Wellies, in a Highland loch wearing nothing but a pair of wellies.

He has twice been a winner in The Vegetarian and Vegan Society Catering Awards.

Mr Weston believes some schools do not put enough emphasis in healthy cooking.

He said: “It’s important to get children interested in eating healthy at an early age.

“At VegFestUK, I want to encourage children to be more active. They need to get enough vitamin D and to build up stronger bones and muscles. Staying healthy isn’t just about what you eat, but you also need to get enough exercise. If you eat well it’s good for your emotional well being.

“Some of diseases we have are self-inflicted and it’s a burden on the NHS.”

VegfestUK Brighton is a vegan festival and it takes place on March 23 and 24 at the Brighton Centre.

Go to brighton.vegfest.co.uk/kids-area for more information.