Cooking Classes for Kids on Long Island: Delicious Fun
Photo credit: What's Cooking?
In my family on the day after Thanksgiving, while everyone else seemed to be out looking for Black Friday deals, we were in the kitchen. Who had time to shop? Christmas cookies needed to be made. The kitchen table and all the counters would be laid out with long lines of dough that we were to cut into small balls for my mom's famous Italian struffolli cookies. While I would love to pass on these traditions to my children, finding the time to instruct them can be a daunting challenge.
Thankfully, cooking classes around the Island are offering semester-long classes as well as drop-in holiday events. Kids can learn how food connects us to their culture and the proper way to handle food and kitchen tools, as well as how to measure properly and follow a recipe. Classes for the very young include stories and songs while older kids can experience multicultural foods and nutrition. Classes range from cookie- and cake-decorating to four-course meals. Nothing cures a child with a picky palate more than involving him in the process. So don't be surprised if your fussy eater is suddenly offering to help plan the family meals, veggies and all. And with classes that include proper etiquette, you may soon be hearing things like, "Elbows off the table, please!"
15 E. Main St., Babylon
Children ages 3 and up can learn to cook while gaining literacy skills. Recipes are mapped out on a chart to assist with comprehension, and NY State–certified teachers incorporate storytelling and songs into each session. Six-week classes are $150. Menus are organic and healthy.
9 Soundview Market Pl., Port Washington
33 Jackson Ave., Syosset
Little Chefs offers classes for kids 2 to 15, including Mommy and Me and Cooking and Storytime for the little ones, all the way up to International Cooking for teenagers. And with all these offerings, Little Chefs keeps in mind that the best part of learning how to cook is having fun. All classes are ten sessions long and are $395, plus a $35 registration/insurance fee. Call or visit the website for birthday party pricing.
Celebrations in the Kitchen
63 E. Old Country Rd., Hicksville
Celebrations offers pie- and cake-baking and -decorating classes, as well as holiday workshops. Classes are taught in a full working bakery. There is ample opportunity for kids to get their creative juices flowing as they decorate as they like. Single-session classes range from $35 to $45. and are offered throughout the year.
691 Broadway, Massapequa
Kitchen Time has been in the cooking class business for more than 25 years and offers monthly classes and private classes for children of all ages, including Halloween-Inspired Cooking, Thanksgiving Dinner, and Gifts from the kitchen, as well as birthday parties. Classes are $45 per child. Call to register and for birthday party information.
30 E. Main St., Oyster Bay
What's Cooking? has classes for children 2 to 15, cooking clubs, birthday parties, and even summer camp. They don't just cover cooking skills, they use their class time to cover topics like recycling and proper etiquette as well. Each class is ten sessions and costs $375 plus a $25 registration/insurance fee.
739 Smithtown Bypass (Route 347), Smithtown
This is an off-site caterer that also offers cooking classes of all types. Among its offerings for children: Celebrate Grandparents' Day, Lunch with Your Kids (ages 11–16), and Take Your Kid to Brunch Day (ages 6–12), with such menu items as Scrambled Green Eggs and Ham, and Ants on a Log. Call for pricing.
A La Carte Culinary Services
32 Atlantic Ave.,Lynbrook
This cooking school offers classes for high-school students and birthday parties for kids 8 and up among its courses. Classes start at $36 per person; parties are $59 per person.
Cook with Class
For a different twist, Chef Rob of Cook with Class offers private cooking lessons for kids ages five and up. Chef Rob is from NYC, and arrives with the fixin's for a really fun and educational class; and yes, he comes to Long Island. He also shares helpful hints and food info for parents on his blog, The Delicious Truth. To book a lesson, call 917-704-9056.
OMG! Oh My Girls!
140 Jericho Tpke., Syosset
This unique health club has girls ages 8–18 creating meals that are both healthy and delicious. Girls will have an opportunity to learn from some of Long Island's top chefs. A do-it-yourself smoothie bar is also available on site featuring natural and organic smoothies chock-full of vitamins and lacking the sugar and fat of most do-it-yourself yogurt bars. Classes cost $389 for a 10-week session, $22 for cake decorating classes, and $35 for full-meal classes.
Sugar and Spice
45 New Hyde Park Rd., Garden City
Classes for children ages 8–13 years range from an introduction to baking sweets to planning and cooking an entire meal. Classes cost $50 and are 2.5 hours long.