Gaithersburg, MD, June 25, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- For those who thought learning how to cook was becoming a lost art, there is no need to worry. More than ever before, kids and teens are participating in hands-on cooking classes. With parents busier than ever, kids often don’t learn how to cook at home, as restaurants, prepared foods, grocery store take-out, and personal chefs replace family dinner preparations. Paired with the advent of The Food Network, cooking has become a kind of entertainment, a recreational activity that is an alternative to soccer, music lessons or art classes.
Cooking schools and restaurants are filling the need to teach the next generation of cooks. From sushi rolling classes to hands-on cooking birthday parties, kids are interested in and enthusiastic about learning new skills and broadening their culinary horizons. Like very few other activities, cooking flexes the brain in multiple ways at one time, calling on many learning modalities at one time. For example, cooking draws on both reading and math skills. Cooking also requires practicing social skills through cooperation and teamwork. Cooking, too, teaches kids how to listen carefully and follow directions.
Cooking is a great activity for ADD/ADHD kids - it teaches kids how to pace themselves and practice executive functioning by following through in a sequential way. Cooking also imparts a great deal of self-esteem to kids, and they get to enjoy the immediate results of their efforts by eating them.
Cooking inevitably offers rich teachable moments to address nutrition, fitness and making good, well-informed eating choices. As the childhood obesity problem reaches epidemic proportions, having children understand and learn how to control ingredients and what goes into their food is critical.
“Cooking is a great deal of fun and a great way to cultivate an interest that can last a lifetime,” said Jill Bloomfield, owner and operator of the only national database to find kids’ cooking opportunities, TeachKidstoCook.com. “I love working with cooking schools and helping connect parents and kids with them. The number of kids’ summer cooking camps has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years."
Parents considering sending their children to summer cooking camp should inquire about certain policies and practices. Most cooking schools ask parents to sign waivers of liability. Bloomfield advises, "If your child's cooking school does not have a formal statement of policy, ask about the equipment instructors plan to use. For example, will children use plastic knives, paring knives or chef's knives? Also, relaying your child's allergies is also of critical importance."
It is also important for parents to ask about the kinds of recipes being prepared. They should be age-appropriate, but also challenging. The best cooking school programs teach fundamental skills and mastery of simple and healthful preparations using fresh ingredients.
About Teach Kids to Cook
Teach Kids to Cook meets the demand for readily available information and resources for how to cook with kids and where kids can have meaningful, educational and entertaining culinary experiences. Teachkidstocook.com provides the only national searchable listings of culinary opportunities for children.
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