Teaching Cooking Skills and Kitchen Knife Safety to KidsHealthy Living
Over Spring Break, my tween and a neighbor friend completed the online course Kids Cook Real Food. This amazingly thorough class was created by my friend Katie of Kitchen Stewardship. It recently opened back up for registrations on April 1 and will stay open through Labor Day.
These young gals very much enjoyed the experience and completed almost all 24 classes for the three modules: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
Beware of Conventional Children’s Cooking Courses!
I’ve written before about the importance of teaching children time tested methods for preparing nutritious, traditional meals so that they know how to nourish themselves when they leave home!
Why did I choose an online class over popular children’s cooking classes taught locally in commercial kitchens? The reason is because I didn’t want my child learning incorrect nutritional information and techniques. For example, these conventional children’s cooking classes still teach that “butter is bad” and that making salad dressing with rancid vegetable oils like canola is “healthy”. These politically correct cooking classes also seem to overly focus on vegetarian fare too, in my opinion.
Um, no thank you!
Kids Encouraged to Be Self Starters
The aspect of Kids Cook Real Food that I liked the most was that it very much encouraged children to be self starters. The classes are designed so that minimal adult supervision is required. I found this curriculum map extremely helpful for planning the girls’ lessons from day to day.
Here’s how the typical class evolved at our house ….
First, the kids would watch the fun and informative how-to videos for a particular class and take notes. Then, they gathered ingredients and cooked the age appropriate, child-friendly recipes included to cement the knowledge gained. Finally, they took pictures to share their creations with their friends.
Oven and Knife Safety
I most appreciated the safety modules on oven and kitchen knives safety included in the course.
The skill my daughter is most proud of after completing the Kids Cook Real Food course is that she now feels comfortable “cutting up pretty much any vegetable and fruit”. As you can see from the gorgeous mango porcupine in the photo above, she learned a thing or two about presentation too!
If you’ve been considering the best way to teach your child how to cook, I would encourage you to take a look at this course. Even children as young as 3-4 can get started with simple dishes and techniques in the Beginner lessons.
Cooking Class Freebies!
If this class in any way interests you, check out the freebies page which includes lessons on healthy snacks. With this download, you can see firsthand how high quality these classes are and what a natural presenter and explainer Katie is to children of all ages. My daughter loved learning from her!
Photo Gallery ….
Below is a photo gallery of a few of the dishes my daughter and her friend cooked up while completing Kids Cook Real Food. I figured this would be the best way to show you a sampling of the skills they learned.
By the way, I would highly recommend having children do this together! If you want one or more of your children to do these classes over the summer or as part of a homeschool curriculum, invite a friend over. It helps the children stay focused and encourages interaction which makes the knowledge they gain more memorable.
Healthy Mac & Cheese
Yummy quinoa pasta with REAL cheese sauce. She learned how to cook pasta, how to make cheese sauce and thicken it properly. This lesson opened up a conversation on how to buy healthy pasta in the first place!
Browning Ground Beef
This class took two tries to get it right. The first attempt resulted in burned ground beef! The second time around, they nailed it!
Chopping Vegetables and Making an Omelet
This class involved learning about knife safety for chopping up vegetables. It built upon an earlier class on cracking eggs. The application recipe involved making an omelet.
How to Make Basic Rice
The girls learned how to make basic rice and the differences between cooking white rice and brown rice. I added on to the lesson by teaching my daughter how to make rice in our Vita-Clay slow cooker too. In the picture below, you can see they made it in a pot on the stovetop.
I honestly can’t even believe that my daughter knows so much about cooking at such a young age! It gives me great peace of mind knowing that she has such an excellent foundation for these important life skills.
I also look forward to the day coming very soon, when she can cook full meals for our family on a regular basis in large part due to Kids Cook Real Food!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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