The most popular recipes for a kids cooking party seem to be the most commonly enjoyed foods, like pizza and cupcakes. And what is there not to love about pizza and cupcakes? What these both have in common is the ability to “decorate” and kids enjoy playing with their food! Let’s look at the educational benefits, first, and then we can get into the details.
Cooking provides an educational advantage
Using their hands is an important aspect of learning for children, and this is especially true when it comes to cooking. Here are some of the benefits of kids using their hands in the kitchen:
- Sensory learning: Using their hands allows kids to engage with the ingredients and experience different textures, temperatures, and smells. This sensory learning can help them develop a greater appreciation for food and a more nuanced palate.
- Fine motor skills: Cooking involves a lot of small movements, such as chopping, stirring, and measuring ingredients. By using their hands, kids can develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
- Independence: When kids are able to use their hands to prepare food, they can become more independent and self-sufficient. This can boost their confidence and give them a sense of accomplishment.
- Connection to food: When kids use their hands to prepare food, they develop a deeper connection to what they are eating. This can encourage them to be more mindful about their food choices and to appreciate the effort that goes into preparing a meal.
Overall, encouraging kids to use their hands in the kitchen can have a variety of benefits. It can help them develop important skills, become more independent, and develop a deeper appreciation for food.
Promote the experience, not the end result
Emphasizing the process of cooking rather than the end result is an important aspect of teaching kids to cook. This means focusing on the enjoyment and learning new skills that comes from the act of cooking itself, rather than the end product being perfect or meeting certain expectations.
There are several reasons why emphasizing the process is important:
- It encourages creativity: When kids are encouraged to have fun and be creative in the kitchen, they are more likely to try new things and think outside the box. This can help them develop their cooking skills and become more confident in the kitchen.
- It promotes learning: Cooking involves a variety of skills, such as following instructions, measuring ingredients, and using kitchen equipment safely. By focusing on the process of cooking, kids can learn these skills and build their confidence in the kitchen.
- It helps kids relax: When kids are not under pressure to produce a perfect end result, they are more likely to relax and enjoy the cooking process. This can make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
Emphasizing the process of cooking rather than the end result is a valuable approach to teaching confidence. Without comparing, tell each child they did an amazing job! Cooking helps kids develop courage, confidence, and creativity, making a lasting impact on children’s lives.
Choosing something fun, yet healthy
This is an opportunity to teach a delicious recipe that is healthy! In my experience, kids are more likely to try new things when 1) they make it themselves, and 2) when they are among peers (a little healthy peer pressure).
These Pizza Cups have roasted sweet potato, flaxmeal, and almond flour in the crust. Freedom Kitchen Cooking Classes teaches kids many alternatives for flour and the kids learn how to make their favorite foods healthy and fun!
With increasing food allergies, it is becoming more and more important for kids to learn alternatives!
Plan the cooking stations
It is common to have kids simply “decorate” their food, instead of prepare it. Depending on the age group, this may be necessary, but if possible, have the kids work independently.
First, make sure you take into account the age and skill level of the guests. The tasks need to be age-appropriate. For instance, younger kids may benefit from simpler tasks such as measuring or stirring, whereas older children are capable of more advanced techniques.
Second, set up “stations.” Will you have them stay seated with access to all the ingredients? Or will you have them move around, from station to station? To ensure that the cooking party is enjoyable for all participants, there is some thought required in advance. Based on experience, here are some suggestions:
For ages 6 and under, this is considered an “activity” that will be directed by an adult. If they are making the pizza crust together as a group, each child will add an ingredient to the bowl and the adult will mix it. Then each child will add 1 spoonful of dough to their pizza cup. And so on.
For ages 7 and up, stations can be set up with instructions. The children can go to the pizza crust station to prepare the dough. Then move on to the pizza sauce station to prepare the sauce. Finally, they will move to the toppings station where they will get some knife skills when they cut, chop, and prepare their toppings.
If it is a larger group, you can have 1 group work on pizza dough and an another work on making the pizza sauce.
In Freedom Kitchen Kids classes, the children move from station to station, allowing them to work cohesively as a group, exert independence, and critically think. Of course, this is all done with adult supervision and oversight, but remember kids of all ages are capable of doing more than we think they can.
A note to the parents, this may get messy and it’s ok! This is quality time spent and will make for a very special event.
Ingredients and recipe
For these fun cupcake-like pizzas, you can watch the virtual cooking class or check out the recipe. This was a big hit in class and will be a pizza party that leaves a lasting impact!
Virtual Cooking Classes
Freedom Kitchen Kids offers healthy cooking classes online. The good news is that this online cooking school is dedicated to healthy kids programs, cooking from scratch, with fresh ingredients. The best part is that these young chefs develop courage, confidence and creativity while experimenting with new recipes. They may not want to be professional chef, but the health of our children begins in the kitchen.
Cooking parties can be done for birthday parties. Create a unique experience for the birthday child. For party planning and party themes check out this post “A Deliciously Different Birthday Celebration: Kids Cooking Parties”
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