Cooking Classes

Sixteen years of experience in schools has shown that providing kids with positive, fun experiences with food increases the likelihood that they will try and enjoy those foods. In cooking classes, students work together to prepare such dishes as Vegetable Paella, Llapingachos (Ecuadorian Potato Pancakes) with Red Chile, and East Indian Lentils, learning in the process that new and culturally diverse foods can be both tasty and nutritious. Download a sample cooking lesson: Chinese American Fried Rice: Grades 2-3

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Connecting Core Academic Subjects with Food
Student materials are bilingual (English/Spanish), with grade-level appropriate activities that connect to academic learning, including math, science, social studies, and language arts. Each cooking class begins by looking at a map or globe, reading about the history of foods in the lesson, how they grow, and how these foods support the body.

Cooking Together in Small Groups
Students work in small groups with an adult to cook each dish. Students learn the importance of washing one’s hands before cooking, and to safely work with foods and kitchen utensils. Students wash their own dishes and clean their work tables before and after cooking. They learn important cooking skills and vocabulary, such as how to measure, whisk, and knead. With so many helping hands in each cooking class, students learn to work together, take turns, and encourage their classmates during the process of preparing delicious food.

Honoring Choice
Research shows that requiring children to try new foods may make them more resistant to tasting anything new or unusual. The Cooking with Kids program honors the value of individual choice, encouraging but never forcing children to try foods that they cook.