Many of my buddies like to get in the kitchen and start cooking as soon as Fall hits. I have seen many social media posts lately of comfort dishes, pumpkin spice coffee drinks, and general “fall” food and beverages. This transition made me think of cooking opportunities for kiddos. There are several youth cooking classes and videos available online. I have noticed that many of the local classes are not available for “face to face classes” but have options for virtual classes.
Here is a list of local classes for purchase.
Hip Cooks has virtual, online cooking classes for kids 10 and older. A few of the class choices I saw included: crepes, crispy scallion pancakes, linguine, and mini chocolate lava cakes. There are also “friends and family” virtual classes. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a price. When you click on a class that you’re interested in, they ask a bunch of questions. But, one of the questions asks about your budget for the class, and whether you plan to partake as an individual or with a group. Here is the link for more info: https://blog.hipcooks.com/hipkids-livestream-classes/
The Merry Kitchen-
This company is based in Portland, although they are currently only offering online classes. A two-hour class is $35 and the required ages for the classes vary. The current class options are BBQ chicken (or tofu) dinner, pizza party, or comfort foods themes. There is also an option for private lessons for $75 for a two-hour lesson. The chef, Julie Merry, has a long and impressive culinary history in Portland. She attended Western Culinary Institute and graduated with honors and has worked for Portland Public Schools for the after-school food programs. For more information, head to this link: https://themerrykitchen.com/calendar/cooking-classes
Portland Farmer’s Market-
These offerings are dependent on the ever-changing covid-19 guidelines. The PFM offers fun activities for kids such as 1) The great pumpkin 2) Kids cook at the market 3) Kids demo booth and 4) Kenton kids cooking club. These activities offer kids a chance to taste product, prepare foods, and explore local produce. The best way to keep up on their current offerings is to check in on when the PFM’s will be open and follow up with their newsletter. Here is the link to their website info: https://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/programs-events/kids-classes-activities/ and here is the link to their newsletter: https://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/newsletter/
This company is in Tigard. There are adult cooking classes, and classes for “all ages”. Although the website says that all ages are o.k., I noticed many of the offerings read “7 and up”. There are “Family Brunch” classes that involve pancakes and eggs benedict along with “Pizza Party” classes. They also have classes that offer culturally diverse dishes such as Bibimbapidydo: “A Korean dish of rice with cooked vegetables, usually meat, and often a raw or fried egg” (Merriam-Webster, 2020). They also have classes that center around Greek food, Italian food, and other choices. The classes are spendy at a beginning price of $75 per person. The kids’ prices are usually $45, but an adult must partake in the class and purchase an admission as well. But “Cookin Class” is proud to offer snacks to class participants and even drinks for adult participants! They also boast a fresh quarterly menu, so they are constantly switching gears and offering new things. Here is the link for more information: https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/cookinclass/items/?flow=360009&full-items=yes
Online kids cooking videos and articles-
This week, I was pleasantly surprised by a beautiful, complimentary email from a ministry youth group leader about one of my previous “kids cooking” articles. Along with the email, she relayed that one of her students, Skylar, had found an amazing “DIY Starbucks Drinks” article he wanted to pass on to us here at Oregonkid.com. (thank you, Skylar!) I will pass it on right here, right now! Here is the link: https://www.swagbucks.com/shop/diy-starbucks-drinks.
Another good free website for kids cooking videos is called, “Cookingwithkids.org”. It is easy to navigate and has a great “how-to” section including skills like 1) how to measure 2) how to slice and mince 3) how to make salad, and so on. Here is the link: https://cookingwithkids.org/resources/how-to-videos-english/.
Lastly, a great resource for kids cooking is on the website “weareteachers.com”. The following article is a list to 16 virtual classes for kids. Some are free, some need to be purchased and the kiddo has to “join a club”, here is the link: https://www.weareteachers.com/virtual-cooking-classes/
Although most of us are busy with the school year starting, cooking can be a great way for kids to wind down during their “off time”. Research supports the idea that kids gain benefits from cooking such as 1) increased confidence 2) an increase in math skills and 3) an increase in the use of their senses (Gavin, 2014). I know as a parent that sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating to set up cooking opportunities for kids. But it can be an awesome experience for them if you can find time to prepare them for a pre-designed cooking adventure.
Best of luck to you and your kiddos in the kitchen!