Cooking class for children?

Discussion in 'The Off Topic Room' started by Zwiefel, Dec 17, 2015.

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  1. Dec 17, 2015 #1

    Zwiefel

    Zwiefel

    Zwiefel

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    Has anyone taught a cooking class for kids? or attended one?

    I might have the opportunity to do this, so I'm looking for format and content options. Obviously, age and age range will have a huge impact on what's appropriate....but I don't know that yet, just trying to gather ideas.
     
  2. Dec 17, 2015 #2

    Bill13

    Bill13

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    I took one as a child and still remember it as being fun. It was several days of basics starting with kitchen safety then several easy dishes for each mealtime. I think we each got aprons with our names on them and of course we got to eat what we cooked. We also discussed table manners which is why I was probably signed up for the class.

    Sounds like it would be a lot of fun to do.
     
  3. Dec 20, 2015 #3

    Mucho Bocho

    Mucho Bocho

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    Danny Jen offered a holiday dessert that might suit young cooks.

    Rolo pretzels
    Waffle pretzel
    Rolo
    m&m
    1. Stack, warm in oven

    It's salty enough to to be an amuse too.

    ImageUploadedByKitchen Knife Forum1450584761.511745.jpg
     
  4. Dec 23, 2015 #4
    Though I don't take my kids to kid cooking classes or even watch anything kid-related on TV (I dislike most of it), my personal opinion is that one should try to balance the cooking and take it away from the sweets focus that is often the theme in kids-related cooking clas. Sure, kids will gobble up cupcakes and like making them, but there is so much more. You can also try to think about the kitchen kit that is appropriate for kids and work back from there.

    Just some ideas from my end.

    1. All things eggs. Cracking eggs are fun. Hand mixers and whisks are fun. Scrambled, sunny side up, filling/folding omelets, and hard boiled are all accessible and I think cooking one thing in different ways is instructive. I've also thought about letting kids salt them (both under and over salting) just to let them understand the difference between seasoning. It may or may not work.

    2. Fresh pasta. Again, working dough, wrapping/resting the dough, turning the hand crank to make pasta sheets, and then cutting it with select tools. All kids like pasta. Quick to cook to, and a butter sauce is a winner with kids. Like a cacio e pepe for instance.

    3. Prepare dough from that Artisan 15-min bread book and have kids make their own bread rolls. Along with that, get some butter churner and have the kids turn it to make their own butter. If you got small enough containers (non-breakable for younger kids) you could even give the kids their own jars with cream to shake to make their own butter.

    4. Guacamole and chips. Smashing avocado is fun for my kids. Maybe get a mezzaluna for herb cutting.

    5. A drink maybe. Lemonade versus limeade. Just a thought. Taste the difference between lemons and limes, more or less sugar. There are a lot of juicers that are suitable for kids to extract juice.

    6. Any number of dozens upon dozens of sweets, but I made black licorice with my daughter. It might be too messy, but also homemade marshmallows might be interesting if the mess can be managed. Whipped cream in a siphon. A bunch of kids at my house were just amazed by this, but the mess potential is HUGE. One errant discharge and whipped cream can be everywhere.

    7. Smelling spices. At the Smithsonian in DC the botanical garden has spices in these metal flowers that kids can smell. My daughter loved that and she still remembers it even though it was 7 years ago. There could always be some basic smelling and tasting component. It's even easy to make it a game if the kids are younger.

    8. Knive skills with cucumbers, strawberries, bananas, big grapes -- you know, the easy stuff. You could even get those nylon curious chef knives if you wanted to send something home with the kids (I think they are about $4 a piece). I have one of them and have never used it, so I will throw that out there. My kids always just went for the sexier metal stuff. But for a class it might work.

    9. Pizza is always easy.

    10. Lastly, some induction burners might be better options if you are using heat with kids. I think some keep a cools surface -- my portable one didn't, but others might.

    Just some ideas. Some may be good, others not.

    Cheers,
    k.
     
  5. Dec 23, 2015 #5

    Smurfmacaw

    Smurfmacaw

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    Hmmmmmm, a couple shots of tequila are always a help before dealing with other peoples kids.....
     
  6. Dec 23, 2015 #6

    Zwiefel

    Zwiefel

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    Thanks Karring! Good thoughts there.
     
  7. Dec 23, 2015 #7
    Just remember you can always do your own pasta sheets, 15-min bread, laying out pizza dough, prep for guac etc. ahead of time. Get them through the fun mixing stuff, but have your secondary prepared stuff ready for the next 'fun' step.

    Also, kids like their own tools. They feel ownership, so giving them something to be real 'the cook' motivates them. It won't buy you the entire time, but it might just buy you 20-30 minutes, and that might just be enough. Truncate the class into 20-30 minute increments -- and basically be an elementary school teacher for that time, math, English, recess. If you go too long waiting for baking, you lose them. If you get to detailed bout knives, you will lose them. And if you give them a bunch of juice at the beginning you will lose them to wee-wee. Preparing to break the time up is as important as anything.

    Get a theme, and break it up into a few fun things to do and you will be fine.

    k.
     
  8. Dec 24, 2015 #8

    SuperSharp

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    We started our son out with oobleck and other home made goo type things and put it in kitchen bowls with kitchen utensils. Now he has his own set of cooking toys and loves to help in the kitchen. Sometimes we get together with friends and have the kids make pasta or help with the easier elements of dinner. It's fun cooking with kids if you have the patience.
     
  9. Dec 27, 2015 #9

    brianh

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    Took my 4 year old to couple cooking classes at the library. Good intentioned local nutritionist, but she tried to do way too much, too fast. Most prep work done in advance. Focus on a recipe or two and teach basics.
     
  10. Dec 27, 2015 #10

    Zwiefel

    Zwiefel

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    Thanks Super + Brian!
     
  11. Dec 27, 2015 #11

    spoiledbroth

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    A good cookie recipe couldn't hurt, that covers some basics of baking (admittedly I probably couldn't throw together a pan of cookies atm if you asked me to). You could sneak healthy stuff in there like raisins and oats instead of chocolate chips. Or even shortbread.

    I was going to say macaroni and cheese so you could teach them to make a cheese sauce, however seeing the fresh pasta idea (and liking it) I'm having trouble thinking of "kid friendly" pasta shapes that would go with the cheese sauce... bowtie maybe? Could be a lot of fun to do raviolo too.

    If you want to teach them basic knife skills, a big pot of stew might be another good idea, knife skills could be the first part of that class, everything into the pot, liquid, explain simmer vs boil and then move on to another recipe while the stew is simmering away.

    Stuffed peppers seems like a low hanging fruit that might be fun for kids to do.

    On a side note I think you should brainwash all those little ones to go home and ask to cook dinner with mom&dad. I think some of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences I've had cooking have been at home with family members. It really adds to the convivial atmosphere of a sunday dinner when the whole family has been working together in the kitchen to prepare the meal

    Depending on the size of the class, and I'm sure you've considered this, but you might want to bring someone along to help supervise... Would hate for you to lose control of a room full of kids and cooking equipment, boiling water etc. Unless parents will be supervising their own kids (which may even be preferable, see above)
     
  12. Dec 28, 2015 #12

    Chicagohawkie

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    Le cordon blue!
     

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