Cooking is a life skill that all children should develop, but it takes instruction and practice to feel truly independent in the kitchen. Fortunately, you don’t have to subscribe to expensive plans or block off an entire summer to ensure your kids learn how to cook. Many online resources can make practicing this new skill a fun, family affair.
The Benefits of Online Instruction
Cooking classes and camps for kids can be a great way to introduce them to this lifelong skill. However, these courses almost always take place away from your own kitchen. The tools, ingredients, and environment differ from what your kids will find when they return home to put their skills to use. However, by following online cooking videos, your kids will develop these skills in their own space from day one. You’ll choose recipes that make sense for your family and the tools you have.
Free Collections Packed with Resources
These pages all have a combination of instructional cooking videos and additional resources to enhance your learning at home.
Help your kids learn to cook and support a great cause simultaneously with Food Literacy Center and its robust library of recipes. This nonprofit’s approach is to learn about food from the ground up in order to make better choices for our bodies and communities. Free videos are included for most recipes you’ll find, and the books, podcasts, and curriculum suggestions help you extend what you’re learning.
Kids are Great Cooks is a fun page with many tutorials and videos showcasing two kids demonstrating each dish. The recipes are easy to follow since they break everything down into small steps. This page is a complete collection of recipes and tutorials developed by a family that really wants to help teach cooking, meaning the videos aren’t haphazard. The skill instruction throughout is purposeful and designed with kids in mind.
Amber Kelley, winner of Food Network Star Kids, is using her platform to help kids feel empowered in the kitchen. Cook with Amber (and the affiliated YouTube page) offers recipes, tutorials, blogs, and ideas for deciding what nutrients are best for your week ahead. She’s also written a cookbook that’s an excellent resource at home.
Free Channels on YouTube
There are lots of free channels on YouTube that have extensive cooking libraries. The videos are appealing, and it’s easy to find dishes your whole family will enjoy. You might want to browse the categories ahead of time to ensure you have the necessary ingredients and tools before turning the kids loose. For some of these channels, you’ll need to provide other training about skills like cutting and using the stove since the hosts don’t focus on this part of the process.
One of the most popular channels, Charli’s Crafty Kitchen, features sisters who love to cook together. The recipes offer healthy alternatives to kid-favorite foods and a fun, upbeat atmosphere. Because kids are featured front and center, your children will likely gravitate towards this pair immediately.
For a channel that provides skill instruction in addition to the recipes, follow Messy Hands Kids Cooking. The host is engaging, and plenty of kids are on hand to help her prepare the meals.
If your child is a bit hesitant to get in the kitchen and cook, 5-Minute Crafts PLAY is for you. The “kitchen hacks” and fun STEM experiments help kids approach cooking from a different perspective.
If you were planning to spend money on in-person cooking classes, you might want to take some of those funds and check out the online options for instruction instead. The best part of many paid options is that instructors are available for live sessions in addition to saved videos.
Kids Cooking Green offers five-week programs and seasonal camps that go over all the basics of cooking as well as nutrition, sustainability, and gardening. Families can participate in this class for a particularly special bonding experience. Kids Cooking Green is a nonprofit that helps fund similar courses for schools in underserved areas, so you’ll be supporting a great cause while you learn.
If you’d like to take live classes that don’t follow a set timeline, try Outschool cooking classes. You can choose from various teachers on different topics to customize based on what your family is looking for. Each class is affordable, and the fact that you don’t need a longer-term commitment is great for many families.
Whether you opt for structured courses or an online video channel with crazy characters, these videos should excite your kids about cooking for themselves and the family.