Topic: Any fun, healthy and delicious recipe ideas for young children?
January 26, 2020 / By Stacy Question:
I'm 15 and I'll be starting an after school cooking club for children aged 8 to 12, and there will be 8 pupils in total. Everything will be paid for by the school, and therefore, I've been given a very tight budget which I need to stick to, so I"ll have to work with cheap ingredients. I'll also be bringing some fresh produce from my own garden for free, so I'll be saving money and cooking with fresh ingredients. I have to teach kids who are quite young, so I will need things which are simple, and fun, which is quite important as they have to enjoy themselves. I need things in which I can involve everyone which they'll enjoy doing, like rolling chocolate truffles. The food also has to be quite healthy because I want to teach them the importance of healthy eating and how to eat a balanced meal from early on. I mainly cook French food(in fact, I learnt how to cook from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"), so I would like too incorporate my expertise as well. The problem is, I'm having trouble coming up with things simple enough for them to make, so I would greatly appreciate and recipe suggestions, or tips in general to help me out. I'll have one class each week for eight weeks, and each class will last for about an hour and a half.Thank you in advance.
Prudence | 7 days ago
What a fun project!
And good news, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. I suggest googling around for recipes for kids to get ideas, there are probably even presentations or shows for cooking for kids.
I helped with a local (adult) cooking school for three years so can give suggestions from that experience.
Expect to learn about organization, presentation and flow as you go along. However well you plan, things will come up that you will overcome and learn to plan for / prepare for ahead of time. Expect this and don't get frustrated by it.
Don't try to do too much in one class. We had one chef who always had too many recipes with too many ingredients each class. We learned to pare down her recipes by half to be sure she didn't get overwhelmed when things started really getting going.
Have the time divided into segments, talking about the recipes and safety stuff first, break up and prep, assemble recipes together, EAT! That was the order all of our classes progressed. Our classes were three hours and sometimes ran long. Because your recipes will be simpler ones for kids, you can easily cut that time in half.
Focus on recipes kids that age can accomplish on their own safely. Also remember than an hour an a half isn't that long, so short prep and cooking times will be necessary. If it were me, I'd also be focusing on recipes that are healthy / nutritionally sound. Fresh produce, whole foods and grains.
Ideas for classes:
Toast isn't just for breakfast! I absolutely love the Pain Pascal bread from Trader Joes - it is whole wheat, an interesting shape, unsliced and makes the most incredible toast and grilled cheese sandwiches you've ever had.
I eat it with a little butter then ripe avocado with a teeny bit of good quality salt and pepper. Sometimes I mash the avocado with a teeny bit of lemon or lime juice, the salt and pepper and a teeny bit of Parmesan cheese I've grated with my microplaner.
Toast with peanut or almond butter and bananas.
Cheese toast, this can be as simple or fancy as you can imagine.
I'd get into a discussion about SUGAR for this. Most smoothies have an incredible amount of sugar in them, using plain yogurt, frozen fruit, a little apple juice, vanilla, cinnamon or other spice can make a lovely reduced sugar smoothie.
My favorite is frozen berries, plain full fat yogurt, just enough apple juice so it blends (I try to keep it under 1/3 of a cup) a few drops of vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon.
I'd look up kid salads. This would depend on the produce available. don't forget to have fun recipes for dressing, which can be mixed in a closed canning jar and shaken. A buttermilk / ranch style dressing made from scratch is super easy and most people like them. Also reasonably healthy. The buttermilk dressing can also be used as a dip for cut up veges.
Eggs are a great kid food and for kids who can safely use the stovetop are easy meals. Omelettes take practice and are incredibly versatile, frayed, boiled, whatever.
So...I'd have a THEME for each class. Have your lesson plan organized before class, don't try to do to much and be open to learning how to be more organized as you go.
I do suggest a brief safety and nutrition class before each class. Knife skills, how to hold the knife, how to hold the item being cut with a "claw" to avoid cutting yourself. And talk about nutritional content of food, briefly, grams of sugars, fats, etc. I recently ran into an excellent video called Sweet Fire which was an excellent middle school level presentation about information on sugar. I'm pretty nutritionally savy and I LOVED this video, it's available on line.
Good luck and have fun with it!
Originally Answered: What is your favorite HEALTHY snack for young children?
My kids love fruit and cheese kabobs - I cut up cheddar cheese and different fruits (strawberries, bananas, apples, etc) and put them on a shish kabob skewer.
Fruit and dip (I mix cream cheese, cranberries and cool whip together to make the dip).
Sometimes I use an apple corer and remove the center of a cucumber and then fill it with cream cheese and cut in slices.
My kids also like goldfish crackers and fruit.
Spread some peanut butter on a wrap, place a peeled banana on it, roll up and cut in slices.
Cut a banana in half lengthwise and scoop out some of the banana and fill with peanut butter.
Another favorite is frozen grapes - they kind of taste like sherbet.
Yogurt and fruit.
Cottage cheese and fruit
Sometimes I bake mini muffins (they really like oatmeal, carrot or banana) and serve these.
Dry cereal (Cheerios, Alpha bits)
Mini Bagels with cream cheese or jam or peanut butter.
Originally Answered: What is your favorite HEALTHY snack for young children?
I don't have children yet but as a child myself I was never or hardly ever allowed junk food. We were not allowed caffeine or chocolate, all our cereals were non sugared. My mom made us juice from frozen concentrate with sparkling water instead of tap water. We ate hot peanut butter milk (all natural peanut butter might I add) on cold days instead of hot cocoa. We always had a green vegetable with dinner and we couldn't leave the table until we ate it. Snacks were like cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, carrot sticks and PB, celery and PB or cream cheese, popcorn with only salt no butter... etc. My mom was vegetarian so we didn't eat meat that often either. It taught me really good lessons but I sure hated it growing up. But, today I'm still skinny as all hell and wouldn't trade it for anything.
Also, don't keep junk food in the house. If they're hungry keep healthy food around mainly FRESH FRUIT and they'll start getting used to it.
I started them out with a veggie platter and dip! They can prep the veggies and make dip! Fruit platters and dip! The basics of cookery aren't rolling truffles! They are simple peeling, slicing and dicing! There are some fantastic vids on youtube for making animals and trees and other things from fresh fruit and veggies! Not so easy to create, but when they get the idea they have a whole lot of fun.
NOTE: We start kids aged 9 in 4-H cookery with fresh fruits and veggies then they advance to cookies, biscuits, and other things. Not sure where you live but the Extension Office has some fantastic bulletins on basic cookery that you can get. Most are geared toward the ages you are planning on teaching.
I used to have "candy" and "cookie" parties!! Some weekends we did veggies or prepping meat balls to go in spaghetti sauce and our salads while the candy was cooling! And before tasting the cookies!!
Here is your reading list
Plus there are books on this subject. Go to the library and ask.
Your school, or school district or county office of education also has a library. ask your supervisor to get you a list of whats available there. they may even be some videos.