Often, I am asked, “Why do you have cooking classes for kids? Why not focus on adults?” or “What can children truly gain from an after-school cooking class?”.
The simple answers would be: Cooking classes for kids help with children’s reading and math skills. They’re reading recipes and adding together numbers to ensure they’re putting the correct amount of ingredients into the bowl.
It allows them to utilize and showcase problem-solving skills they may not know they possessed. They’re refreshing or learning new science skills because cooking is chemistry! Motor skills are promoted by tasks such as gripping a knife, using a microplane to grate, or whisking.
However, cooking classes for kids are much more than just cooking. It’s a time to allow children to feel creative. You don’t think that much cinnamon is enough? Go ahead and add some more! Children may choose to create bread in a different form than we typically see. My cooking classes give children a safe space to make those choices. The opportunity to be creative is truly endless in a cooking class, but especially in a cooking class for kids.
Parents of children who take cooking classes are typically surprised by their child’s newfound love for adventurous eating. Their kiddos are more likely to try new foods that are more healthy and nutritious. Children involved in some sort of cooking class learn about different foods, spices, and ways of cooking, which pulls on their curiosity to try new things. They want to taste new food
While my child cooking classes are teaching children ways to cook, these cooking classes also open their eyes to healthier eating habits. Children can become more aware of the choices they make with food after learning to prepare it, learning more about ingredients within recipes, and understanding the health issues/benefits of different foods. Having conversations regarding the healthiness of foods is always something done within my cooking classes for kids, as I want them to have a healthy relationship with food. I want to ensure they know how to utilize foods to their benefit but also enjoy the food they’re putting in their body.
One of my favorite things about my cooking classes for kids is seeing their confidence grow. It happens in every cooking class. Children will come in from all walks of life, some with no prior knowledge of working their way throughout a kitchen. They’ll start unsure of what different tools throughout the kitchen are utilized for, what herbs and spices are what, and how to properly measure dry and wet ingredients. By the time our class sessions are over, they can identify tools throughout the kitchen that will make your cooking/baking experience easier, as well as which ingredient your recipe is missing for that pop of flavor.
Children’s confidence doesn’t only grow within their knowledge of cooking and food during my cooking classes for kids but also in forming relationships with others. Most times, none of the kids in my classes, especially my after-school classes, know anyone before class starts. They start timid and quiet, but as the class continues, they find that confidence to start discussions with their peers. They begin collaborating and enjoying their time together. The kids work together to create a wonderful dish and then celebrate by enjoying their creation!
Children will sometimes enter my after-school cooking class feeling drained, down from the day's events, and just wanting to be on a device. And sometimes, all those kids need is a little conversation or a task that keeps their brain busy for just a few moments. Allowing for smaller classroom sizes allows me to get to know each student’s personality, which in turn, allows me to bring some light into their day every time we meet.
My after-school cooking class, or any of my child cooking classes, will allow your child a safe, inviting place to connect with other children. I teach these classes in a way that allows kids to feel like they’re leading the way, and I am there to assist them if need be. I want them to feel empowered by their cooking abilities and the connections they make in these classes. I want this to be a time for them to just enjoy what they’re doing without the worries of the outside world.
I hope my classroom within my kitchen teaches these children life lessons. I’m hopeful that it gives them another outlet to relieve their stress and frustrations and that it’s a calming place they feel the joy coming back. I hope every parent or guardian encourages their children to join them in the kitchen. Showing children how enjoyable cooking can be and forming those personal connections in the kitchen can be beautiful.
Long story short, teaching after-school cooking classes and all of my cooking classes for kids will always have the biggest part of my heart. I know there is much to be said about time spent in the kitchen with friends and loved ones, and I love showing that to children of all ages.
I am certain every child that comes to one of my cooking classes for kids leaves with excitement on their face and a full tummy!