Teaching kids to cook gives them skills they can use for a lifetime. Find out how to teach kids cooking classes in your community.
How to teach kids cooking classes
There are so many benefits to cooking with kids and reasons to teach them to make delicious healthy meals for themselves and their families. Kids gain a ton of skills when they learn to cook. It boosts their self-esteem and helps them make healthier food choices now and later in life.
Cooking classes for kids
If you want to begin teaching kids to cook and hold cooking classes, first you need to decide who you are going to serve. Do you want to invite your neighbors over and teach a few of them, do you want to run a community-wide cooking camp, do you want to do a one-time event or regular cooking classes for kids?
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Places you could hold cooking classes for kids could include your home, at a school in the classroom, or for a club such as a boy scout troop. You could hold kids cooking classes at your church or a community center. Or like me, you could do cooking classes for your daycare kids.
Cooking school for kids
A cooking school for kids would be a ton of fun. Next, you need to decide how much money you will charge for classes. If you are going to teach cooking classes for free, where will the funding come from for the supplies? Can you get sponsors to sponsor cooking camps for kids? Can you have the kids bring their own food and you supply the equipment? How will the financing of the classes work?
I love watching the kids that compete on Chopped Jr on Food Network. It’s so impressive some of the culinary classes and opportunities they have to learn cooking skills. I love seeing that people are reaching out to the younger generation to teach this skill.
If you are going to charge for the classes, will it be just enough to cover the supplies or do you want to make some type of income from the classes so you can afford to continue teaching them?
Kids culinary classes
There are some basic skills kids need in the kitchen and kids’ culinary classes can be a great way to give them these skills. Are your culinary classes going to be just teaching the basics, or are you going to use them to teach kids certain recipes? There are so many choices so narrowing down what you want your goals to be is a great place to start.
Kids culinary classes don’ts are important too. Don’t enroll so many kids per adult that the adults cannot make sure kids are doing things safely. If kids are using fire or knives or sharp equipment, there should be an adult to supervise every few kids. Depending on their ages, kids may need to be watched very closely.
Safety in cooking with kids
Don’t give fire or knives to kids that are too young to stay safe. If you are teaching preschoolers or toddlers to cook, you can start them off with butter knives and bananas or something like that. Then you can move up to serrated plastic knives as they get older and then move on to the real blades.
Make sure you don’t turn your back on the kids while you’re supervising. Accidents can happen so quickly. It just takes a second. The most important rules for cooking with kids are to let them learn and make mistakes and make it fun!
Kids won’t learn anything if you do everything for them and it certainly can be hard on their self-esteem. Kids learn they are powerful, strong and capable by trying things and learning to do them without help. Then when they master them, they will feel great.
One last don’t for your kids cooking classes is to make the recipes fit the ability of the kids. Don’t give kids recipes that are too complex for them to be successful.
Toddler cooking class
At little sprouts, we do a ton of toddler and preschool cooking classes. We make recipes throughout the year. It’s fun, the kids build a lot of skills and gain knowledge, and most of all it helps them be far more likely to try unfamiliar foods. Learning to like healthy foods that they’ve never tried has so much value for their eating habits now and throughout life.
Teaching preschool and toddler cooking class will help kids learn to experiment and explore food in a new and positive way. You are really changing the future. Is it too messy to cook with toddlers? It can be.
If you hate messy activities, you can still cook with toddlers and preschoolers. Check out this fruit pizza on a graham cracker. Or do fruit skewers or fruit salad. If you can handle a little more mess, try ants on a log or peanut butter roll-ups. If you are feeling more adventurous, try baking cookies or cakes with kids.
Think about other ways you can explore foods with toddlers. You can make a pretzel or bread dough and just let them knead and shape them. Then you bake them and they can eat their art. Whatever you decide to do with your young kids, remember that it’s okay not to do everything and if kids cracking eggs stresses you out, don’t do it. It’s okay. Do whatever works for you. Everyone is not going to enjoy every kind of activity with kids.
Knowing your limits is a really important part of being a good teacher.
Cooking class ideas
Now all you need are cooking class ideas. The blog has a ton of recipes for kids. Check out spaghetti pie, old fashioned apple crisp, ice cream in a bag and cat eyes. There are also recipes for pasta, broccoli salad, breakfast casserole, and yogurt parfait kids can make. If you want more ideas, check out cowboy cookies, banana bread, vegetable beef soup, pumpkin pie, peach pops, and applesauce to make with kids.
Having kids cooking contests are fun as well One year we had a salsa contest with some of the school-age kids. We grew tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic in the garden and I let them create their own salsa however they wanted. Then we had a garden open house and invited all the parents. The parents got to vote on which salsa was best. It was so much fun. We have done friendship soup and friendship snack mix as a recipe for learning about friendships as well.
There is no limit to the creativity you can use to teach kids to cook. We even make cookbooks with the kid’s recipes and give it to the parents as a Christmas gift every year. Whatever you choose to do for your kid’s cooking classes, I know it will be something the kids will never forget.
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