You’ve heard of kids’ book clubs, but why not create a kids’ cooking club? Many kids enjoy being in the kitchen but don’t do it very often. A cooking club gets your child and her friends together to learn kitchen safety and cooking skills — something they’ll use the rest of their lives. Get started using these tips.
A cooking club is generally best when the kids are around the same age. If you have preschoolers with 10-year-old kids, the ability level in the kitchen is too far spread. Plus, most of your child’s friends are likely around her age. Between 6 and 12 is an ideal age range. Those kids are old enough to handle most tasks in the kitchen with supervision. Being able to read the recipe independently also makes the process easier.
Cooking is the primary activity for the club. Let the kids take control of what they cook. Gather several cookbooks that have recipes the kids could handle. Bookmark blogs with kid-friendly recipes, or check out what Pinterest has to offer your young cooks.
Using the first meeting as a planning session helps you get started. Ask the members to each bring some recipe ideas or cookbooks to share. Have them brainstorm cooking projects they would like to do. Record those ideas so you have a reference later.
Always know what you’re going to cook at the next meeting. Before the kids leave, choose the recipe for the next time.
You’ll likely need a variety of ingredients throughout the course of the cooking club. If you want to handle the shopping yourself, you might ask each member’s family to pay a small fee to cover the cost of the food. Another option is to ask each person to bring one of the ingredients for the recipe. This helps spread out the cost of the materials.
No matter how basic the recipe, the kids’ cooking club always needs supervision. If you have more than a few kids in the group, you’ll probably want at least one other adult to help out with the supervision. Ask the parents to stick around to help out if necessary. Not only does the supervision ensure kitchen safety, you’re also there to help the kids if they get stuck on the recipe.
Getting bored with just cooking? Spice it up by adding in other activities. One idea is to read a picture book that goes along with the recipe you’re cooking. Another option is to decorate aprons and chef’s hats with the kids. They can bring their custom gear to each meeting.
If you want to take a field trip, head to a farmer’s market or a you-pick farm so the kids can pick out their own ingredients. Another option is to visit a local restaurant for a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen. The kids can ask questions and get information from the experts about cooking.