Cooking with Kids
Food can inspire, excite, and feed the curiosity of children. Cooking with children is a way to bring family and friends together. Cooking classes can
be held at schools, in the community, and at homes. Use cooking classes to introduce new vocabulary, cooking techniques, basics of etiquette,
nutrition, safety, kitchen math, and new foods!
Children should have access to healthy food and be able to make healthy food choices wherever they are – at home, in school, and in the community.
Improving the health of the nation’s children and reversing the childhood obesity epidemic is a shared responsibility and will take the commitment of
parents, the foodservice industry, the media, and schools working together.
Keep in mind:
Plan activities with the goal of guiding healthy eating behaviors.
Stimulate all senses with food-based activities.
Make cooking fun and enjoyable.
Use cooking to develop many skills, such as math, measuring, timing, and life skills.
Develop science skills, including chemistry, physics, and predicting outcomes.
Build on kids’ curiosity and introduce new foods to serve at meals or snacks.
Develop team building skills.
Create an awareness of different cultures
Safety Tips in the Kitchen
Wash hands with warm soapy water before anyone handles or eats food.
Suggest singing the alphabet song while hand washing (20 seconds) to ensure that hands are clean.
Clean the counter or table where food will be prepared with warm, soapy water.
Take special care when handling sharp utensils, such as knives, cheese graters, and can openers.
Use caution near a stove. Always turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
Have a fire extinguisher close by in case of an unexpected fire.
Clean up spills as soon as they happen.
Stay in the kitchen while the stove or oven is in use.
Use dry pot holders or oven mitts to handle hot pots and pans. Heat travels through damp or wet pot holders and oven mitts.
Let’s Get Cooking: Here’s what every kid should know about getting started in the kitchen.
Tie back long hair to keep it from getting in your way.
Roll up your shirt sleeves and wear an apron to keep your clothes clean while you cook.
Rinse and dry off fruits and vegetables before you use them. Handle delicate-skinned fruits and vegetables, like berries and tomatoes, gently.
Give tougher-skinned produce, like potatoes and carrots, a good scrub.
Clear off and clean a space big enough to work comfortably.
Clean up work surfaces and equipment as you use them. Being neat while you cook makes for easy cleanup and easy cooking.
How to Follow a Recipe
Carefully read the recipe from start to finish before you start cooking.
Make sure you have enough time to complete the recipe without rushing.
Assemble all the equipment called for in the recipe.
Gather the ingredients called for in the recipe.
Prepare your ingredients as they are described in the ingredient list. This may include measuring and chopping and is called miseen place*.
*Mise en place – Pronounced meez ahn plahs, this phrase is commonly used in professional kitchens. It means
“put in place” and refers to having all of your ingredients measured and ready to use as the recipe directs. You
might need to peel an apple, chop an onion, or shred cheese. Having your mise en place, your ingredients ready,
helps to make following a recipe easy and fun.
National Food Service Management Institute
The University of Mississippi