- Kids get the opportunity to classify, measure, count, estimate, and recognize numbers and fractions in a practical and “real-life” setting…with an edible outcome!
- Use cooking to help the needy and practice math at the same time. Pick your favorite recipe and double or triple it – and then donate it to a soup kitchen.
- Cooking with kids exposes them to new vocabulary, ranging from kitchen tools and ingredients to cooking strategies and methods.
- Recipes encourage kids to practice symbol recognition, language patterns, and sequences.
- Following along with the steps of a recipe reveal the importance of directions and the sequence in which they are followed. Would it matter if you didn’t beat the eggs before you added them to the skillet for your omelet? Yep – following both written and oral directions matters!
- Build connections between story books and recipes by joining Kids Cook with Books, our free monthly reading and cooking club for kids ages 2-8. Participate with your students, or encourage parent engagement at home by joining.
- The kitchen is like a laboratory! Kids in the kitchen can ask questions, make predictions, observe, investigate and experiment.
- What would happen if you used cold butter in a recipe instead of room temperature butter? What if it was melted instead? Questions like these allow children to be inquisitive scientists, predicting and comparing results when they make simple (or big!) changes in a recipe.
- What happens to ingredients when they are combined? What if they are frozen? Baked? Boiled? Guess what? This is science in action. And the best part is that it is relatable and observable.
- Where does food come from? How does it impact the land where it is grown or the people who grow it?
- Eat your way around the world by preparing dishes from other cultures.
- Are certain foods unique to different regions of the world? Is this because of climate? Cultural, religious, or dietary preferences?
- Learn about how to be a good citizen by taking turns and feeding the hungry.
Michelle Stern is a former high school biology teacher and founder of What’s Cooking with Kids, a cooking school for children in the SF Bay Area. She is the author of The Whole Family Cookbook and was invited to the White House to be part of the launch of Michelle Obama’s Chef’s Move to Schools Initiative. You can find her at her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Here is a different way to cook with kids that is kid-centered, fun, and very, very hands-on. Kids feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as they follow the recipes – often with little adult help to create something yummy. These recipes can easily be used with a whole class by setting up a cooking center and calling kids back a few at time. Click here to check it out!