I recently decided to step up my culinary training by signing up for the chef certified course at George Brown College. I’d always wanted to go to chef school after completing my dietetics degree because it seemed like an obvious combination. I have been helping out with kid’s cooking classes over the years and ultimately want to combine my nutrition background with practical culinary skills with an educational component.
Not wanting to lose any time, I have been at several cooking camps this summer and will be teaching again from August 10-14 at the Depanneur in Toronto. Classes run from 10-12pm (ages 5-8) and 1-3pm (ages 9-12) and cost $200 for the week. Visit the Depanneur website for program details and to register.
I am super excited about this! I remember the first time I helped teach a cooking class – I was volunteering at Evergreen Brickworks and was asked to stand aside and watch a cooking class in action to get an idea of what would be involved. Within 10 minutes I was in the kitchen taking out equipment and helping the participants in anticipation of what the next step would be. I had never taught a cooking class before but for some reason, it just came naturally (perhaps it had something to do with having taken so many culinary classes over the years).
Needless to say, I started helping out at a number of other children’s cooking classes (including Evergreen Brickworks and Project Chef in Vancouver) in addition to taking in person and online courses (like Demos for Dietitians) and soon started teaching my own.
I cannot think of a better way to teach kids about nutrition through cooking. I focus more on the cooking to make it fun but tie in various teaching points around food and nutrition during the class. I love teaching cooking at that age because they see it as being ‘fun’ (like doing arts and crafts, except you get to eat at the end) rather than being a chore. And I like to expose them to cooking so that when they get older it might be something that can revisit without feeling totally intimidated.
How about you? What are some fun, less traditional ways that you like to teach people about food and nutrition?