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Learning to cook is a life skill that can open the door to a lifetime of delicious food. Cooking empowers children and families to practice a healthy lifestyle. In general, if children cook it, they want to eat it. And it’s fun!
There are now many, many virtual cooking classes for children, but not so many that are free. Here are a few that are open to everyone, free of charge:
Cooking with Kids (CWK) teaches food literacy to thousands of children in 16 virtual school communities in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties. Students learn about "eating a rainbow," taking virtual field trips to local farms, and using stories, drawings, scavenger hunts and recipe-writing challenges to stay excited about healthy eating. See lots of how-to videos and recipes for all families on our website or YouTube Channel. Once a month, CWK is partnering with Presbyterian Healthcare Services to offer free virtual family cooking classes, open to anyone. Sign-up info can be found on Cooking with Kids’ Facebook or Instagram pages or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Edible Schoolyard Project is dedicated to transforming the health of children by designing hands-on educational experiences in the garden, kitchen and cafeteria that connect children to food, nature and to each other. Cooking with Curiosity, a new curriculum written for both distance and in-person learning, is designed to introduce students to cooking skills while building reflection practices so they can cook confidently on their own terms. Cooking with Curiosity is a four-unit curriculum with about 40 lessons, designed to be completed over the course of a semester. Lessons are written for middle school students, but many will adapt easily to elementary and high school audiences.
Purple Asparagus educates children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet. Through exploration and discovery, they inspire a lasting love of delicious nutritious foods. Visit their YouTube channelfor recipes, lessons and activities, in English and Spanish.
Kids Cook! provides hands-on experiential learning for elementary and middle school students and their families. The website includes many videos that strive to inspire families to cook and eat meals together, be more physically active and share their knowledge with their communities.
We Are Teachers’ mission is to inspire teachers and help them succeed by sharing practical classroom ideas, the best freebies and teacher-to-teacher advice and humor. The site also offers 16 virtual cooking classes for kids.
- By Lynn Walters, PhD, the now-retired founder of Cooking with Kids, a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers children and families to make healthy food choices through hands-on nutrition education with fresh, affordable foods. The Cooking with Kids Cookbook is available locally at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Courtesy photo.