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Kids' Cooking Classes in NYC: Kids Take Over the Kitchen!

Kids' Cooking Classes in NYC: Kids Take Over the Kitchen!

Sense you’ve got a budding chef—or at least a discriminating foodie—on your hands? A cooking class geared to kids may just ignite an interest into a lifetime passion.

Would you love to see your kid helping out in the kitchen more? What about eating healthier? Is his or her dream to win Master Chef Junior? No guarantees on that last one, but the first two are virtually sure things when kids take cooking classes.

Different generations cooking together, sharing time-honored recipes, seems to be a lost art among modern families. Sometimes it’s even hard for working parents to find the time to teach just the basics of getting around a kitchen.

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Cooking demands patience and practice, both of which benefit the young mind. Taking a culinary class can help your little one develop a talent, spark a love of new foods and tastes, engage all five senses, and best of all, serve as bonding time with you. The experience can often lead to shared memories and great conversation.

RELATED: Read more about the benefits children derive from cooking.

Fresh Made NY’s founder Cara Buffalino-Silman agrees. Some of her favorite childhood memories center around her father’s restaurant, The Italian House, in the Catskill region of NY. She describes the big benefit her students get from her classes. “They learn to cooperate, share, and take turns, helping each other to create a meal that they then enjoy together.”

The Creative Kitchen’s founder and “Big Cheese,” Cricket Azima, sees the perks of a kids’ cooking class as extending back to the whole family.  “We are big on educating on healthy food choices. Everyone benefits.”

Jessi Walter Brelsford, founder of TasteBuds Kitchen, puts the emphasis on learning to like new foods. “Everyone’s taste buds are different, and always changing. If a kid doesn’t like something, we try to identify why. Is it too salty, too sour, too bitter, too sweet? Whatever it is, we try to go beyond yucky to really pin down our preferences.” The best part of the process, says Brelsford, is seeing kids’ crack a smile as they taste what they’ve made. 

Below are our favorite kids’ cooking classes in Manhattan, the ones that not only impart the ability to mix, whisk, and fold, but fun enough to inspire a lifetime love of cooking. This isn’t a comprehensive list (you can find that here), but any of these would be a great place to start.

The Creative Kitchen

At various locations throughout the city, including Whole Foods, City Treehouse, and City Babes

Developed for ages two and up, Creative offers themed classes that include kid-enticing names, such as Eat Your Art.

Highlights include the Storybook Cooking class, where classic books come to life in the form of food. Think Stone Soup and blueberry pancakes, in homage to Blueberries for Sal. And the Everybody Can Cook class is tailored to children with special needs.

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The Creative Kitchen also hosts the annual Kids Food Festival at Bryant Park, a celebration to educate children on how to make balanced food choices through celebrity chef demos, sample mini classes, and entertainment.

For schedules, pricing, and more details, call 718-406-7506, or go to www.thecreativekitchen.com/

Taste Buds Kitchen

109 West 27th Street

Holidays are big deals at this kid-favorite venue all year round. Whether it’s Columbus Day: Around the World Italy & France, Halloween Haunted House, or a Parent & Child Gingerbread Decorating Workshop, fall is just the start of the family-centric fun. Other workshops include Frozen’s Olaf Cupcake, Super Foodie Semester, and Pinkalicious Cupcake Workshop.

Weekly Saturday morning classes are offered for kids ages 2-6 with a caregiver. They also offer an after-school program.

For schedules, pricing, and more details, call 212-242-2248, or go to tastebudskitchen.com/nyc/

Home Cooking NY

158 Grand Street

A Soho school with six chef-instructors, Home Cooking NY offers a really wide range of courses, from “never boiled an egg” basic to cultural cuisine favorites. Some of the more popular classes include Tasting Tours of NYC, Chinatown, and Farmer’s Market. Teens 13 and older are welcome to join any of the adult workshops, including Culinary Boot Camp for Everyone, Six Basic Cooking Techniques, 20 Minute Meals, and How to Cook Fish, among many others. Each two and a half hour class culminates in a full sit-down dinner.
For schedules, pricing, and more details, call 917-803-6857 or go to www.homecookingny.com

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Fresh Made NYC

636 Broadway

The curriculum is based on seasonal eating. For example, in the fall, classes focus on using fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown nearby, like apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and cranberries.             

Classes are broken out by age group, starting with one-hour, with-caregiver options for ages 2-4. Those in the 5-7 and 8-10 groups may be dropped off. Fresh Made also conducts specialty drop-in classes for middle and high school students throughout the school year.                          

For schedules, pricing, and more details, call 212-475-0500 or go to freshmadenyc.com