Do your kids know how to cook yet? Do you want them to learn how to cook before they leave the house? Or do you want them to learn how to cook NOW to save you some time in the kitchen? I know I do! Read on to learn how to teach your kids to cook and my review of the Kids Cook Real Food course.
Why Should You Teach Your Kids to Cook?
Teaching your kids how to cook is an investment! It may take some extra time up-front, but it will definitely pay off when they start cooking whole meals by themselves!
Teaching kids to cook is important because it gives them important life skills, gives them math practice, helps them become more confident, and teaches them responsibility.
I taught my oldest son, Jackson (6), how to make his own lunch for school last year. It was pretty simple things, like how to make a sandwich or tuna salad and then add some raw veggies (that I cut up for him), fruit, yogurt, and/or nuts. I thought that was awesome for a 5-year old!
However, I wanted him to learn more cooking skills and become more independent with making his lunch. And eventually I would love for him to help cook supper!
I’m an elementary teacher, but I’m NOT a cooking teacher. I didn’t know where to start or when he was old enough to learn different cooking skills.
Thankfully, I heard about this cooking class called Kids Cook Real Food. At that time I thought my boys were too young to start something like that, but knew it was something I would love to do with them in the future.
This summer I finally purchased the course, and I’m so glad I did!
How to Teach Your Kids to Cook
If you don’t know where to begin teaching your kids to cook (like myself!), a great resource to use is the Kids Cook Real Food course.
What is the Kids Cook Real Food Course?
Let me break it down for you. Kids Cook Real Food is an eCourse, created by a lady named Katie Kimball. It uses videos to teach your kids to cook healthy, real meals and snacks. It also helps to build confidence, creativity, and responsibility in your kids. Like I said, I’m not a cooking teacher. And with this course, I don’t have to be. Katie does the teaching. I just facilitate. I push play on the video for the day, get out whatever food and kitchen tools we’ll be needing, and assist my kids as needed.
There are 3 levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each level is designed to take 8 weeks, however you can go at your own pace. If you have multiple children that are in different levels, you can still teach them at the same time. The kids in different levels will be working on separate skills but will be working together to create one meal or snack each lesson.
What Skills Will Your Kids Learn?
- Carrying glass dishes to serve
- Peeling vegetables
- Slicing with a dull knife
- Measuring ingredients with spoons and cups
- Blending spice mixes
- Careful pouring
- Making a salad
- Peeling hard-boiled eggs
- Setting the table
- Making homemade salad dressings
- Introduced to using sharp knives
- Cracking eggs
- Mixing simple recipes independently
- Cooking rice
- Stovetop safety
- Browning ground beef
- Sautéing vegetables
- Using small appliances
- Using sharp knives
- Crushing garlic
- Oven safety
- Cooking eggs
- Steaming vegetables
- Washing the table
Where Should Your Kids Start?
Kids as young as 2 years old can start at the Beginner level. That’s where I started both my boys. It’s important that they know the beginner skills before moving onto the more advanced skills.
It surprised me when I saw what my 3-year-old was able to do. I really didn’t even get the course for him to start yet. I intended mainly for my oldest to do the course for now and then for Jase to start once he was a little older. But he’s actually doing really well with the Beginner skills! He loves practicing spreading peanut butter (that’s his FAVORITE food!).
Once each of them master the beginner skills I will move them on to Intermediate. So, Jackson will probably be ready to start Intermediate as soon as the 8 weeks of the Beginner class are done. Jase’s little hands will not be ready for the Intermediate skills yet. I’m not ready to teach him how to use sharp knives quite yet! So, he’ll just continue to practice the Beginner skills.
No matter what age your child is, I would start them on the Beginner level and progress at whatever pace they are able.
Each lesson has:
- a video and a guide for you so you know what to expect in the lesson,
- a list of groceries and supplies needed for each lesson,
- a flashcard for the skill being taught,
- a flashcard with the “Daily Nugget” (something they memorize and review to help them remember kitchen skills and safety)
- two videos for the kids to watch,
- and printable recipes to practice the skills with.
You also get a downloadable recipe eBook (worth it right there!) and a printable progress checklist.
Here’s a little bit more about the teacher, Katie Kimball, who put this awesome course together.
What’s the Cost?
There are two options when purchasing the course. You can either buy one individual level or you can get the VIP membership.
If you want to purchase one level the cost is $49.95. With that, you can download all the PDFs but not the videos. To watch the videos, you must log onto the website. You have guaranteed access for 1-year (after that they MAY take them down, but hopefully not!).
The VIP membership is great because it comes with ALL THREE levels plus extras like a hospitality class (YESSS!), recipe eBook, Facebook support group, and a ton more! You have lifetime access to the course and can download all the videos and PDFs. The cost is currently $149.95 for the VIP membership.
In my opinion, the VIP membership is WELL worth it. I know I will go through all three levels with my boys throughout the next few years. So it made sense to go ahead and get them all! If you want to try one level out first before you get another level, you can definitely do that. Whatever option is best for you and your family!
If your kid is interested in cooking, this would be a GREAT Christmas or birthday gift idea!
My Opinion of the Course
We’re loving the Kids Cook Real Food course. In my opinion, it is definitely worth the money!
It teaches the kids important life skills that they need to know before leaving home. They learn how to cook actual real, healthy food – not just a box of mac & cheese. It teaches them about safety in the kitchen before actually cooking, which is so important!
I’m an elementary teacher, and Katie’s method of teaching lines up with how I teach in the classroom. She uses scaffolding to get the kids to the point where they can indepenently perform the skill. She explains through the videos how to do each certain skill.
We watch her and her kids practice the skill. After the video is done I show my kids the skill with food and a knife (or whatever tool we’re using that day). Then I put my hand over their hand and guide them through the skill. And finally the kids practice the skill on their own. They keep practicing throughout the week, whenever we have opportunities, and then the next week we watch the next lesson and learn a new skill.
My boys love the class and get so excited when it’s time for cooking class. Jackson really enjoys getting to practice skills he’s learned to make his own lunch for school.
I also love that it gives us quality time together. Even though we’re watching the video teacher, I am right there with them. I watch the videos with them, pause it when we need to practice something or repeat a phrase we need to learn, and guide them in doing the skills we watched. It creates family bonding. We’re doing something together that we all enjoy!
Kids are also much more likely to eat healthy food when they prepared it themselves (or took part in preparing it). The above pictures show a salad my boys made the other week. They washed all the veggies, shredded the lettuce, peeled the carrot and cucumber, and poured the salad dressing on it (I cut the veggies and made the chicken salad to add to it). They LOVED getting to pick out all the colorful veggies they wanted in their salad. And they ate it all! No complaining!
Take a look at the Kids Cook Real Food website and see for yourself if it is something you want to do with your kids. I think you and your kids would love it too!
Watch this video for healthy kids lunch ideas they can help you make!