Kids Cooking Summer Camp: Healthy Practices and Skills Kids Learn from Cooking

Kids cooking summer camp allows young chefs to indulge in their passion for food preparation. For children that enjoy being in the kitchen, an interactive full-day camp program is an ideal way of spending their summer holiday.

Going camping exposes kids to a wide range of cuisine culture and cooking techniques. Apart from learning about cooking summer camps, this article covers the following:

  • Healthy practices and skills that kids will learn from cooking
  • Cooking activities for preschoolers and older children

Understanding Kids Cooking Summer Camps

Whether your child attends a one-week or half-day kid’s camp, they will get firsthand practice and experience from professionals. They will also learn how to use professional utensils from qualified cooking school camp instructors.

Summer cooking camps expose kids to different features such as collaborating with their peers and kitchen safety. Summer camp cooking classes are appropriate for 7-year-olds and teenagers. Often, camp week cooking sessions operate under a particular theme like food from a specific culture or a particular cooking style.

On the other hand, daily cooking schedules at camp include preparing different snacks, meals, international cuisines, and desserts. Some camp afternoon sessions end up in competitions that make camping fun and exciting. The main goal of going to a cooking camp is to have fun, make new friends, and acquire valuable kitchen experience. Kids will have fun preparing meals and eating them as well. 

What Healthy Practices and Skills do Kids Learn from Cooking Camps?

The skills children develop from cooking summer Sur la table camps are applicable in various places. For example, they learn how to follow procedures and instructions. They will also master the art of handling complex projects. Food preparation can be a stepping stone to different science topics.

Staying at a cooking camp also applies to other components like nutritional science, fitness, and health. Many children are happy to help with baking pretzels and cupcakes around the kitchen. They may not realize that doing so exposes them to different skills like reading recipes and measuring ingredients.

Cooking activities for children during summer camp help them develop a wide range of skills, as we shall see below. Further, they expose children to healthy habits that they can carry into their adulthood. Here are skills that your kids will develop while attending kids cooking summer camp. 

·       Evaluating their Senses 

Young children get an opportunity to experience next-level cooking techniques while in summer camp. For example, during bread baking cooking classes, children will be excited to listen to the bustling sound of the dough mixer. They will also participate in dough pounding and watch it as it rises.

Further, kids will have fun smelling the sweet scent of bread as it bakes in the oven. In the end they will marvel at the taste of fresh warm bread straight from the oven. With continued practice, children will enhance their bread-making skills and practice them at home once camp ends. 

·       Growing their Aesthetic Taste

Is your child a picky eater? If they are, sending them to kids cooking summer camp can be all they need to improve their eating habits. Many children eat better when surrounded by their peers. What’s more, there will be different irresistible foods to try at the camp. One of the most exciting things is that they will take part in the food preparation process. As a result, the kids will acquire a sense of achievement and make them anxious to sample their own dishes. 

·       They Learn how to Choose Healthy Meals

The food preparation process involves preparing a grocery list and planning your menu. Camp counselors talk to campers about healthy food choices like including fruits and veggies in their meals. 

·       Kids Become More Responsible

The kitchen is one of the busiest places in a cooking summer camp. Kids learn how to handle kitchen appliances safely, following recipes, cleaning, and keeping the kitchen well organized. Participating in kitchen chores teaches children how to be responsible. 

·       They Acquire Basic Language, Science, and Math Skills

As kids practice how to stir sauce, prepare bread dough, and crack eggs, they also get a basic understanding of language, science, and math. The process of counting the number of eggs required teaches math skills.

Determining what should go first, second, and last teaches sequencing skills while reading recipes promotes reading comprehension. At the end of the cooking summer camp, your child will be confident enough to try new recipes independently. 

Cooking Activities that Preschoolers and Teens can Engage in During Cooking Summer Camp

Some kitchen tasks are ideal for kids ages 3 to 6. Often, camp counselors will suggest roles that fit their skill level. These roles should not be elaborate because young kids often get bored quickly. The average tasks for children under this age bracket should last between 5 and 10 minutes. Make the role short but fun. Here are some roles that preschoolers can do.

  • Compiling ingredients
  • Reading a cookbook
  • Ripping up lettuce to prepare salad

Summer Camp Cooking Activities for Teens

Each day at the Les Elfes International Summer camp, teens will prepare a full meal. They will even have enough to carry home on the last day of camp. Here are exciting parenting resources and camp activities that older kids will do. 

Level One Culinary School

At the level one culinary cooking school, camp professionals introduce campers to various practical kitchen aspects. Apart from kitchen safety and appliances, they learn about hygiene and acquire practical kitchen skills.

Campers will have lots of fun preparing a wide range of meals on their own, like tacos, pizza, and mouth-watering sauces. Camp organizers schedule a flavor day where teens learn about the basis of flavor and master their tasting skills. On the final camp day, the children will participate in a mystery ingredient contest. 

·       Introduction to Knife Skills

Using a knife safely to dice and chop is a skill that children will learn at the kids cooking summer camp. Campers then use their learned knife skills to prepare ingredients based on what is on the menu. During this activity, the chef will introduce campers to a wide range of spices and herbs from different parts of the world. Further, the teens will learn how to match herbs with suitable meals. 

·       Introduction to Kitchen Skills

This activity is a continuation of the culinary cooking school, where campers learn culinary terminology. The resident chef introduces children to the process of preparing pizza dough. After the lesson, every student is tasked with preparing both sweet and savory pan-roasted pizzas. During this activity, campers will learn how to tie the dough in different ways. They can use these techniques when preparing pizza knots at home.  

·       Mouth-watering Mother Sauces

Every good chef understands the importance of mother sauces when it comes to the preparation of delicious meals. During this activity, campers will learn the basis of excellent cooking; they will also learn how to be creative with food preparation.

From velouté, bechamel, roux, and stock, every camper will prepare individual alfredo sauces to go with pasta. They will then serve the meal with custom-made vinaigrette and salad complete with fruit. 

·       Flavor Dynamics

Some of the flavors you may know about include umami, sour, bitter, sweet, and salty. However, many people may not know the art of combining and balancing them to create unique dishes. During this activity, campers will learn how to taste these flavors one by one. The chef will also teach them about the different sources of acids, salt, herbs, fats, and spices available from different cultures around the world. The culmination of this activity will be the preparation of a flavorful meal. 

·       Mystery Ingredient Contest

The mystery ingredient contest will be the culmination of the level one kids cooking summer camp. Campers will go through the different lessons they have learned and take part in a competition. The contest is friendly and fun, and there are no losers. However, judges always have difficulty picking the young chef who scores the most marks depending on cooking technique, taste, presentation, and creativity. The camper who gets the highest score receives a reward and a tin of ice cream.

Next Level Culinary School

The next level culinary school is a day summer camp for campers who want to improve their basic kitchen skills. In this activity, chefs focus on the skills and techniques that children can leverage in overall cooking instead of creating recipes only.

Every day the campers will learn new techniques and a menu. Kids will execute their roles alone from beginning to end. Just as is the case in the level one culinary school, campers will have a mystery ingredient contest at the end of the camping session. 

·       Day 1: Breakfast Meant for Dinner

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In this case, campers will be making a hearty breakfast meal that they can consume at dinner. By the end of the activity, they will have mastered the art of:

  • Poaching eggs perfectly
  • Making fresh and delicious whipped cream
  • Using baking soda or powder to make some fluffy, delicious pancakes
  • Making deluxe creamy hollandaise sauce 

Every aspiring chef must master these skills before becoming an expert in the game. 

·       Day 2: Homemade Ravioli

Many people are yet to master the art of making fresh pasta appropriately. During this activity, campers will convert fresh pasta into two different ravioli types, complete with unique sauces and fillings. Learning how to combine different flavors in a single meal is crucial. Campers will also know that some flavor combinations are more superior to others. 

·       Day 3: Sunday Grill

The Sunday grill is one of the most popular traditions at the Les Elfes International camp. In this activity, campers will learn how to stuff, tether, grill, and carve an entire turkey. They will also learn how to glaze veggies, use seasoning to make flavorful and rich gravy, and make the ideal pumpkin empanadas and mashed potatoes. 

·       Day 4: Mystery Ingredient Contest

Like is the case in the level one culinary school, campers will participate in a friendly and fun mystery ingredient contest. While everyone is a winner, judges will be looking for the ultimate young chef with the highest score in cooking technique, taste, presentation, and creativity. The camper who scores highest will receive a prize. 

Takeaway

  • In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, many kids cooking summer camps are offering virtual cooking sessions via zoom. This idea comes in handy to protect campers and curb the spread of the disease. 
  • Apart from mastering cooking skills and making new friends, children will learn how to make healthy meal choices. 
  • Cooking is an art that exposes campers to a wide range of life skills that they can use in the future. 

Read through our website for more summer camping tips.

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