Kids in the Kitchen

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN: COOKING CLASS #kidscook #cookingwithkids mylearningtable.com

Cooking Up Some Fun

My little junior chef is getting very skilled in the kitchen, and he especially likes to try new recipes and techniques. He has recently been taking cooking classes in our area. These opportunities have helped him (and me) branch out from the familiar and experiment with new foods and different methods of preparing them. As he’s gained confidence, he has wanted to flip through my cookbooks to find meal ideas he’d like to tackle.

Finding Resources for Kid Cooks

I’ve been scouring shelves for cookbooks geared specifically for kids, to give my son even more experiences in the kitchen in a way that’s age appropriate and fun. Lots of cookbooks are written for adult cooks for either baby and toddler food ideas, cute food arrangements, and healthy kid-pleasing foods, but there aren’t many written specifically to kid cooks themselves.

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN: COOKING CLASS #kidscook #cookingwithkids mylearningtable.comCooking Classย by Deanna F. Cook is a fun resource we’ve discovered recently from Storey Publishing. This cookbook is just right for my son’s mid-elementary age and has healthy recipe ideas that we’ve found to be really tasty and easy to prepare.

My son helps me with meal planning for our family, because he is in the kitchen right beside me most days. Since we homeschool, we usually eat lunch at home, so each week, we plan for lunches and suppers before we shop. The Cooking Class cookbook has recipes that cover all meals, plus snacks and desserts. All of the mix and match and ‘creative cooks’ combo ideas make it easy to use ingredients we already have on hand and to see what we need to add to our grocery list as we plan what my son would like to make.

The first thing we tried are the Italian Panini sandwiches for lunch.

These are hearty and delicious, and the best part–my junior chefย is able to make them himself, with just a little help from me with the hot sandwich press. They are a big hit with my teens, so they are permanently in our lunch rotation.

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN: COOKING CLASS #kidscook #cookingwithkids mylearningtable.com

In addition to the recipes, Cooking Class has so many extras that make it a real primer for cooking. It is written to the child and has lots of specific instructions before the recipe section even begins:

  • safety rules
  • setting up the work station
  • keeping things in order in the kitchen
  • list planning
  • shopping
  • kitchen vocabulary
  • using cooking tools
  • cleaning up
  • table setting

The recipes have a spoon rating system that denotes skill level, so I can see at a glance whether I will need to supervise my son more closely or not, depending on what he decides to make. We love that several recipes feature ingredients from our garden, and there’s even a section for backyard chicken keepers like us. My son especially likes the photographs that illustrate the step-by-step of each recipe.

For even more fun, there are stickers, labels, recipe cards, place cards, and mealtime game cards.

Cooking Class gets an A+ on our list. We’re having such a wonderful time cooking through it together and creating memories, and my junior chef is learning to finesse his skills in the kitchen.

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Comments (26)

  1. Camille

    Thanks for the tip! My kids are in charge of lunch all summer long (one a day). This would be a great resource. I find it’s hard to find a children’s cookbook with healthy recipes that they can start doing on their own. I’ll check this one out.

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      Thanks for stopping by, Camille. I hope you all enjoy this cookbook as much as we do. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  2. Adrienne

    I love it when I see moms teach their kids to cook at a young age. So important! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      Thanks, Adrienne! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  3. L. E. Mastilock

    I think my son would love a cooking class. Maybe I’ll look into one near me. When kids cook they are much more willing to try new foods. Yours looks so proud! Thanks for linking to the Love to Learn hop!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      Thanks, L.E. We love that blog hop!

      Reply
  4. Lori Hill-Smith

    I had a kids’ cookbook when I was a little girl. I loved that thing!!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      I had a Dennis the Menace cookbook that was a lot of fun!

      Reply
  5. Jill

    My daughter (now 23) had a book called “The ABCs of Cooking.” I know we have it around here somewhere. I need to dig it up for the littles!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      I’ll bet they would love to cook with that book! It sounds like fun!

      Reply
  6. Sharisse

    It’s so wonderful that your son is learning to cook at such a young age. He’s much more likely to be open to trying new ingredients and flavors when he’s involved in the kitchen. I bet those cooking classes he’s been taking are so much fun too!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      Thanks, Sharisse! He definitely has an affinity for cooking. And, you are so right–he is always willing to try things he makes himself. He’s really branched out with his eating. We’re finally WAY past chicken nuggets!

      Reply
  7. C. Lee Reed

    What a great way to encourage kids to find a passion for cooking. Panini sounds good right now. My daughter loves to make sweet treats together.

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      My son loves to cook and is planning on being a professional chef and restaurateur one day. We spend a lot of wonderful quality time together in the kitchen. Isn’t it fun to create with your child?

      Reply
  8. Amy Boyington

    Thanks so much for the kids cookbook suggestion! My 10 year old daughter is very into helping me cook and always asks for simple things she can cook herself. This would be a perfect gift for her!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      It’s got a lot of special extras that definitely bumps it up to gift quality, Amy. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  9. Michelle @SimplifyLiveLove

    My 11 year old has taken a huge interest in baking the last year (after discovering Cupcake Wars!). And she’s getting pretty good. I need a book to encourage her to clean up after herself now!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      I know, right? I am my son’s sous chef most nights–so I end up with clean up detail. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  10. Scarlet of Family Family Focus Blog

    What a great resource. I think it is so important to encourage kids to cook. It helps give them skills they need and builds self confidence. We will check out the Cooking Class cookbook!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      I think you will find that it’s a fun resource, Scarlet. We are creating lots of good stuff with it.

      Reply
  11. Lena

    I need to check it out – my daughter loves cooking and I bet she will get a lot of use out of this book

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      Thanks, Lena. I think you both would like it!

      Reply
  12. L. E. Mastilock

    What a great cookbook for kids! I look for cookbooks with big, beautiful photos of food for my kids to pick out what they’d like to make, but it would be nice to have one with directions that are easy for them to follow. It’s so good to have the kids involved in meal planning. So much learning can happen with food!

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      Thanks so much, L.E. This cookbook really is a keeper. There are many kids’ cookbooks that we’ve tried, and this one is definitely a favorite.

      Reply
  13. Nicky

    All 3 of my children cook. My daughter is always looking for new kid friendly cookbooks at the library. I’ll have to look for this one on our next trip

    Reply
    1. Anne Campbell (Post author)

      That’s awesome, Nicky. Kids in the kitchen are a wonderful thing. I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen as a kid, but I wish I had. My son and I share a lot of special moments when we’re cooking together.

      Reply

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