Thursday, September 6, 2012

4 tips to cook with kids at school

Classes started and I am planning a handful of recipes to make with kids at school. Sometimes they will be theme-oriented, inspired in some children's book or even about chemistry. But invariably they will involve lots of fun, and, of course, some messy activity to clean up after...
My 7 years old had already two years in a row of Cooking Club, which had been really fun, as some of the recipes were first tested with Darienne and her boys. My now 5 year old under, though, is going to have his first year of cooking classes, and can't wait to start. It looks like Cook Play Explore is going again to be full powered for Fall! We can't wait!

As a good friend of ours suggested, here are some tips if you are willing to volunteer at your kid's school, or maybe just wondering how to have a structured playdate with kids and cooking with them, the easy way:

  • Portable electric equipment is always a good choice to use if you're working in a classroom or even your dining table. Griddle, ice cream machine, pasta machine, crockpot and hand blender are some that I've used for from scratch recipes and worked just perfectly.
  • If baking is the plan, and you have access to a oven-  think always about mini-muffins and mini all things to reduce baking time, and, therefore, anxiety from the kids.
  • Safety is, obviously, a big concern. Practice had taught me that serrated plastic knives from party-ware packages  are very useful and good to cut strawberries, bananas and other types of fruit and vegetables. Very clean children sized scissors are also a good idea. 
  • Always work close to the teachers to find out about any allergy in the classroom. Try to adapt recipes to avoid frustration, but if not possible, have the parents of the kid with allergies to send some alternative ingredients or snack so not for him to be excluded. 

Here's a little list of of many times tested recipes at school and with the Cook Play Explore boys:

Banana Bonbons

Delicious raw candies that took some prep before the activity and was inspired by the awesome I'd like to Eat a Child book.

Be Bim Bop 

Two electric griddles made this possible. Kids had lots of fun cutting vegetables and savoring the wonderful rice.

Scissors Salad 
24 new scissors were donated to make the activity possible and clean. A portable mini oven was used to make the croutons, and peer pressure made some kids to eat lettuce for the first time.

Ben and Jerry's Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream 

This was a delicious treat enjoyed by kids and teachers with fruits on the top. Icre cream machines made it possible!

Stone Soup 

The old revisited folk tale inspired this recipe which had a bit f a different stone in the soup.

Enjoy, and, of course, never forget to invite the little chefs to wash their hands with soap and water before every cooking session. Have fun!

1 comment:

Myrna said...

This is really great! I always wonder why we have learned so many things at school, and not a word about how to prepare food - such a basic human activity!
It is just wonderful that you are doing it in such a creative and fun way! You are opening a new window in those children's lives.


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