Recently I had the pleasure of stepping out of the office and experience a kids cooking class during the winter break at the Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School in Belmont, MA.
The class was really fun as I found the children to be eager and willing to openly participate, and were very honest about their likes and dislikes of food. We started the class discussing what they like to eat at home, and if they like to cook with their families. One camper Claire, mentioned that marinated chicken was one of her favorite dishes, and another camper Max said “I don’t like vegetables or cooking, I just like to eat!”
Our first cooking project was making salad dressing. We discussed what flavors we liked and disliked. The kids’ candor was refreshing, and I used it as an opportunity to encourage them to go home and experiment using different flavors and spices to create a dressing to their liking. Their openness truly amazed me. It was a great project that sparked much conversation by all. It was rewarding to see their creativity take hold! I loved it!
For our second project, we created yummy veggie wraps with broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms and hummus. The kids chopped, laughed and built their sandwich their way. I even think Max enjoyed his concoction — or least he was willing to try it. I think that part is key — making it fun and having them as part of the process goes a long way.
Thanks to Kathy McClannen for inviting me along for this fun adventure. She has been teaching cooking classes as part of the Burbank After School Enrichment Collaborative (BASEC) for 6 years. She said more recipes from ChopChop will be incorporated in future classes. She’s a true delight and her passion for cooking, and the wellness of the kids is encouraging. As for me, I was reminded of a big lesson to involve the kids as much as possible. Plan, shop, and cook together. It can lead to amazing results.
Suggested dressings to make with your chef:
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