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Ideas for kids cooking classes

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello folks!
I have a new job at Granview elemantary! Teaching cooking classes as an extra curricular activity. Nice.

So this is how it goes->
I have 10 to 12 kids ages 9-13.
The budget provided to me is 60$ per lesson.
The lessons are 2 hours including the cleanup.
I have 2 household ovens with coil elements, and a microwave.
For cookware I have the basics.
Things I dont have: Chinoix, foodmill, mandolin, pretty much any fancy equipment you can assume I dont have.

And so, I need ideas for these classes. So far we've done things like Sushi,
gyoza, burritos, perogies (I made the dough @ my other job:p). Basically things that are cheap and can keep the kids busy.

Thanks In advance for any imput you may have!
post #2 of 13
pizzas are always a good choice. I remember a thread almost just like this... I'll see if I can find it. Someone feel free to beat me to it, I'm a little busy cramming for 7 final exams. :eek:
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
post #3 of 13
How about Tex Mex Chili?

Brown 1lb of Ground Turkey in Olive Oil and Minced Garlic.
Once cooked, transfer the cooked turkey into a pot without the grease.
Add to the pot:
28 oz diced tomatoes
1 cup of salsa
15 oz of black beans
15 oz of kidney beans
15 oz of pinto beans

Bring to boil and simmer for 25 minutes, covered.
Then add 1 cup of corn and 1/2 tsp of cumin.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook for another 15 minutes or so.

Very easy to make.
Not much of cuttin' and choppin' going on so I think it is safer.
Cheap to make, but I'm not sure if they'll be busy ...
Tweek the recipe as you wish.
Good luck!
Amateur of all amateurs!
Amateur of all amateurs!
post #4 of 13
I once did an all day stint teaching several classes of kids from 3rd grade to middle school. We did homemade preserves. Strawberry, because there is a local grower and we got them donated.

Preserves are great teaching tools. There are so many things involved:
· Proper sanitation is super important in preserves, so this is a great time to teach the kids about food safety.
· Preserving in season fruits and vegetables for future use lets you discuss the idea of “in season” with children who have probably never had to do with out a tomato in the winter thanks to hot house growing.
· Why our ancestors needed to preserve food for the winter to keep good nutrition year round, a little Vitamin C from a jar in December keeps the scurvy away, and good eating habits are covered to. Not just that you should, but why.
· Why sugar and citric acid are needed in the preserving process, and now you’re talking science.
· You see where I’m going with this.

We even were able to get the jars donated. If you have a local Wal-mart (I can’t imagine anyone not having a Wal-mart nearby) you can apply for grants (I once got a thousand dollar grant from Wal-Mart for a private school to finish an educational landscaping project) and even $50-$100 shopping cards. Each Wal-Mart is allowed so much money a year for community projects and each organization is only allowed so much cash and prizes per year. Every Wal-Mart has an employee who oversees their community charity, find out who that is and be real nice to them. (If the Wal-Mart closest to you has already allocated their money for the year, hit up another Wal-Mart.) Schools and educational programs for children are a high priority. You might be able to get a grant to stock you educational kitchen with better supplies, and you don’t have to spend the money at Wal-Mart, you can spend grant money anywhere.

Since most Wal-Marts now carry groceries (I haven’t seen a Wal-Mart in years that wasn’t a “Super Wal-Mart) you might be able to get food supplies from them as well.

Target has similar practices, but I never had the same success with getting them to come off with anything as I had with Wal-Mart.

I repeatedly hit up the local grocery stores for donations as well and had pretty good success with them, just talk to the managers.
I have also taught adult courses on cake decoration and sugar flowers. While I have never taught children for pay, my kids (2 yrs-14) get home lessons all the time, and my oldest has for years invited friends over for me to teach too and they all love it.
post #5 of 13

There is a kids cookbook at Williams and Sonoma that is good for kids or handicap people.
post #6 of 13
dont forget some desserts

like cookies


cream puffs. that would be fun. and the kids can fill them and what not
post #7 of 13
There are so many things you can do with puff pastry, sweet and savoury.
A great way of using up leftovers will keep it economical :- Last nights leftover bolognese/cheddar and spring onions/Pizza-type tarts Let them make a basic reduced tomato sauce and invent toppings/simply twisting it into shapes with caster sugar and cinnamon or spices and seeds.
How did they get along with the sushi?
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #8 of 13
What about simple things like scones?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas everyone!

Last week we did tostadas which went well. The kids loved making the salsa.
We usually do a desert with every lesson. Cream puffs are a great idea.

Keep the ideas rolling in!
post #10 of 13

kids dishes

Kids at our school love to make spring rolls. The rice paper is inexpensive and they fill them with cooked/seasoned noodles and salad ingredients. You can add a squirt of hoisin sauce inside for a little more flavor. They also enjoy chicken pot stickers. The wrappers are at the asian grocery and get some ground chicken, seasonings and you can show them the many ways to roll them. If you don't mind a mess doughs of any sort are amazing to kids and you can make bread into interesting shapes. All the kneading can be done by hand with some asistance. If you made bread you could churn some butter as well, and perhaps make a strawberry jam. Pastry is a big hit as well as long as you give them a small portion of the dough to deal with - perhaps individual rustic tarts.

Hope this helps - you'll find the kids receive a lot of satisfaction in cooking.
post #11 of 13
How about some healthy snack ideas? Here are some I've used with middle schoolers. (It wasn't a cooking class, but a reading class. I used food connected with their reading to emphasize nutrition but also cultures.) Having two hours is a GIFT!!! I had 47 minutes per class period....

Quesadillas (whole wheat tortillas, reduced fat cheese)
Frozen yogurt with fruit (I didn't make this at school, but I have at home in a Donvier ice cream maker.)
Fruit trifle or parfaits with low fat/low sugar yogurt and fruit
Fruit leather
Veggies (good for knife skills) and dips (starting with low fat sour cream, etc.)
Decorating small cakes (the size of large muffins) or large cookies with different types of icings (Royal, buttercream, etc.)
"Iron Chef" Day- give them some healthy ingredients and let them come up with a dish or two
Soups: minestrone, chili, gazpacho, etc.
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post #12 of 13
If you really need certain supplies like food processor, mandolin, etc, you can always make a request on Teachers Ask. You Choose. Students Learn.

It's an organization where teachers request what they need for their classrooms, and people will donate it. I'm a music teacher and I've been able to get instruments donated, violin strings, a printer for my computer, a digital camera, a synthesizer... you name it I got it. I've known teachers who have received way more. I'm sure you can have microwaves, blenders, heck you could even receive a lecreuset haha.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #13 of 13
(Baked and Grilled) Pizza, fresh pasta with a nice meat sauce (canned tomatoes) or home made mac and cheese, fun sandwiches (maybe pannis, which you can just put on a grill with a heavy pan or brick wrapped in foil) fun soups, or like baby steps said, a chili is always a safe bet.

Just use your imgaination and if you were a kid what would you want to eat?

hope i helped! :chef:
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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