Getting kids in the kitchen is probably the single best thing we can do to raise a generation that is agriculturally and nutritionally literate.
The good news is that almost anywhere you live, there's probably a program nearby that will get kids into the garden and kitchen to improve their food literacy. Here’s a rundown of five classes and camps around the country designed to help raise kids’ knowledge of and interest in food.
Sur La Table Cooking Camps
Where: Sur La Table stores
When: various dates in June, July, and August
What: Designed for kids ages 8 to 12, these five-day culinary camps cover kitchen basics like knife skills, cooking ratios, sauce making, and making pasta from scratch. Kids work in groups of four to bake dishes, which they will, of course, get to taste.
Cost: $250 per week
Bay Leaf Kitchen Summer Camp
Where: San Francisco
When: Various dates in June, July, and August
What: Offering programming in “community, sustainability, and play,” Bay Leaf Kitchen Camp is for kids ages 8 to 12 to learn and cook with nutritious, sustainable ingredients. Every session is unique, which organizers say makes the camp ideal for multi-week campers. Also includes a sleepover at a local farm!
Cost: $750 per week
Kids Cooking Green
Where: throughout Massachusetts
What: Formed as an on-site workshop at the Lexington, Mass. farmer’s market, Kids Cooking Green has evolved to become a popular and fun after-school program in several Massachusetts towns. But one-day workshops and classes – including special Summer programming – are available as well. All classes utilize local ingredients in preparing a fresh, nutritious meal.
Cost: vary from $55 for single classes to $300+ for camps
Gorman Heritage Farm Camp
Where: Cincinnati, Ohio
When: various dates in July
What: This popular camp (apply early!) makes the direct connection between food grown and raised on the farm and the dishes we prepare in the kitchen. In addition to learning kitchen basics, kids learn farm basics as well, collecting eggs and grooming animals, for instance.
Cost: $100 to $175 (varies by camp)
Frog Leg Kids Culinary Academy
When: various camp dates in June, July, August; classes ongoing
What: Frog Legs offers creative and fun cooking classes for kids all year-round, but its summer camps take (or make) the cake: themed camps include Star Wars, Wizards, Potions, and Spells, Olympics, and Carnival.
Cost: $280 to $300 per child for camp