14/08/2014 16:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Jamie Oliver: Families Do Not Know How To Feed Themselves On A Budget

Jamie Oliver: Families do not know how to feed themselves on a budget

TV chef Jamie Oliver has spoken out about the struggle families face to feed themselves on a small budget.

The cook – and dad of four – says he finds it hard to understand 'modern day poverty', claiming some parents choose to spend money on luxuries rather than nutritious food for their children.

He told the Radio Times: "I'm not judgmental but I've spent a lot of time in poor communities and I find it quite hard to talk about modern-day poverty.

"You might remember that scene in Ministry of Food, with the mum and kid eating chips and cheese out of Styrofoam containers and behind them is a massive f****** TV.

"The fascinating thing is seven times out of 10, the poorest families choose the most expensive ways to hydrate and feed their ­families – the ready meals, the convenience foods.

"Some of the most inspirational food in the world comes from areas where people are financially challenged.

"The flavour comes from a cheap cut of meat, or something that's slow-cooked, or an amazing texture's been made out of leftover stale bread."

In response to Jamie's comments, Imran Hussain, Head of Policy at the Child Poverty Action Group, told the Independent: "Jamie Oliver has made a huge contribution to improving school meals and we're grateful for the support his foundation has given us in our work on free school meals.

"He is right to say that healthy food doesn't always have to be expensive. but for many families it's low income which gets in the way of healthy eating. As official statistics show, parents of poor children are much less likely to be able to afford fresh fruit for their children.

"We also know from the evidence that as the incomes of poor families rise, they spend more on things like healthy food and children's clothes."

Advice and ideas for cooking on a budget:

Small cheats for big family meals

Five shortcuts to feeding your family fast