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The 10 Best Online Cooking Classes for Kids of 2020
- Best Overall: Tiny Chefs
- Best for Live Classes: The Dynamite Shop
- Best for Bread: Baking Bread with Kids
- Best for Educational Curriculum through Cooking: Raddish Kids
- Best Nonprofit: Food Literacy Center
- Best Online Marketplace: Outschool
- Best for All Ages: KidsTable
- Best for Kid-Led Instructional Videos: Real Food 4 Kids
- Best for Families: Kids Cooking Green
- Best for STEAM Learning in the Kitchen: America’s Test Kitchen - Kitchen Classroom
Best Overall: Tiny Chefs
For ages 3 to 12, Tiny Chefs offers a series of virtual classes and day camps. Each standard class series includes 10 recipes with a pre-recorded instructional video, shopping list, lesson plan, quiz, and additional activities. And, recipes can be prepared in any order so you can pick and choose which to do and when.
All recipes include easy-to-find ingredients and clear instructions, and Tiny Chef instructors are available to answer any questions within 24 hours. Each recipe also has the ability to "Take it Down a Notch" or "Kick it Up a Notch" based on your child’s experience and age.
Class series themes include Cooking Around the World, American Picnic, Cupcake Wars, Dips & Donuts, Restaurant Creation, and the Art of Cupcakes. Detailed information on which recipes are included in each series is all available online.
A 10-recipe series is priced at about $99 per student, but a discounted family registration is available for those with multiple children. Each official registrant will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
For those who want a more structured schedule with some live interaction, summer virtual day camps are available for kids ages 6 to 14, and you can choose from different weekly themes (about $129 per student, per week). Lastly, private virtual cooking lessons are also offered for ages 4 to 18 (roughly $100 per 60-minute lesson).
Best for Live Classes: The Dynamite Shop
Founded by two highly acclaimed food writers, the Brooklyn-based Dynamite Shop has taken its classes online, offering virtual programming through Zoom.
The Dynamite Dinner Club program features weekly classes designed for ages 7 to 15 to replace their original, in-person afterschool program. Cooking classes deliver essential lessons and culminate in a "hearty, healthy family dinner."
Current programming runs for a 10-week semester with two options for class times daily to accommodate those in different time zones. Students will learn how to make meals such as Summer Mac & Cheese with a Watermelon, Tomato, & Mint Salad, Enchiladas and Salad with Honey Lime Dressing and Toasted Pepitas, a Gazpacho & Tapas Bar and more.
All menus are adaptable for vegetarian, kosher, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets. Ingredients are sent weeks in advance with the recipes, as well as substitution options, so you have everything you need the day of the course.
The purchase of a lesson also comes with access to their text-based kitchen helpline. If an entire semester is purchased, classes are about $25 each. Otherwise, it's roughly $30 for a single class. Courses are limited in size, so it's important to book early.
Best for Bread: Baking Bread with Kids
King Arthur Baking Company has brought its Bake for Good Kids program to Facebook and IGTV, with lessons on baking from its staff’s home kitchens to yours.
With great, easy-to-understand lessons on the science of baking, ingredient benefits, and baking methods, these free online lessons are the perfect introduction to bread baking for both kids and parents.
Questions are encouraged as you cook along through the chat feature, comment box, or through the Bakers Hotline. Many recipes are available for download in advance through the Bake for Good Kids Recipe Booklet, which includes recipes for bread, rolls, pizza, and muffins, plus helpful tips and techniques. Additional recipes are provided through links to the recipe database on the King Arthur website.
Previously filmed online lessons are now available on how to bake bread, muffins, scones, popovers, and even doughnuts with more content actively being created. Each video is about 15 to 30 minutes long depending on the recipes and usually feature a staff member with their child serving as an "assistant."
Best for Educational Curriculum through Cooking: Raddish Kids
Raddish Kids was originally created as an all-ages culinary club that delivers monthly cooking kits, but it also offers a selection of free cooking videos archived online via its RadTV Cook-Along series.
Videos vary in length based on the recipes but range from 15 to 30 minutes. In addition to visuals, the Raddish Kids website provides a variety of resources for you to use before you start cooking with your kids, including dietary modifications for recipes, 45- to 90-minute lesson plans for a selection of recipes, and parent resources.
Learn how to make items such as blueberry pancakes, veggie rainbow and ranch dip, homemade cornbread, pizza dough, as well as fundamental basic cooking lessons, such as how to make scrambled eggs or prepare perfect pasta.
Recipe guides are available for download, some of which include tips for simple educational assignments you can do with your kids while cooking. (These are even categorized by Math, Social Studies, and Nutrition.) Other recipes are from previous programming, such as the Cooking Camp Challenge, but they also come with helpful visuals and lessons designed in a way that is fun for kids to learn.
Best Nonprofit: Food Literacy Center
Based in California, this nonprofit organization was founded to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. The Food Literacy Center has since created a free online curriculum with supplemental videos on Facebook and YouTube for you to cook along with your school-age kids.
Lessons include recipes for snacks like Ranch Popcorn and heartier meals such as broccoli and potato tacos, rainbow soup, and spaghetti marinara. The complete curriculum is available for download to go along with videos including a supply list, printable recipe, lesson plan, and activity worksheet. There are even short quizzes for kids to take after they have completed the lesson.
Think of this is a school-home economics program brought to your personal kitchen. Resources also include lists of basic kitchen tools to have on-hand, as well as some basic cooking tips such as how to prepare dried beans.
Ingredients are all easy to find and inexpensive, making the lessons very approachable and accessible. While the Center is a nonprofit, donations are encouraged to help support their mission and expansion.
Best Online Marketplace: Outschool
Outschool offers cooking classes under the category of Life Skill Classes for Kids and serves as an online marketplace for different instructors around the world to showcase their unique skills.
In fact, there are more than 50,000 classes led by experienced teachers for kids ages 3 to 18, such as the Harry Potter Cooking Camp, Eat the Rainbow Healthy Cooking Camp, the Taste of Jamaica Cooking Camp, Japanese Ramen, Bread Around the World, and many more.
Courses can be filtered by age range, day, format (i.e. live vs. flexible schedule), and length (i.e. single class vs. semester). Many lessons are offered live, but there are also flexible-schedule classes that post content each week and include recipes and video tutorials. The classes encourage interaction through discussion boards.
Video chat is available for questions and interaction with other students throughout each live class. There are also opportunities for forums and private messages with the teacher.
Sessions start at about $10 and increase from there. If you are looking for variety and flexibility at reasonable prices, this is a great resource.
Best for All Ages: KidsTable
Chicago-based Kids Table brings virtual lessons to your home via Zoom.
Classes are available for purchase as a five-week series (about $65 per person) or as a single class (roughly $15 per person). Note: there is a 10% discount for sibling registration. Lessons are categorized by age: Tots Can Cook for ages 2 to 4, Kids Can Cook for ages 5 to 10, and Teens Can Cook for ages 11 to 14.
Parents and students can choose between two sets of menus or join the class for both and attend it twice a week. Current sample menu themes include Cupcake Wars and Summer Sunsations, but they change seasonally. Recipes and ingredient lists are sent about one week in advance, and recipe modifications are available for allergies and dietary restrictions.
Kids Table has also added a weekly Virtual Cooking Camp program for the summer for students ages 4 to 14 (divided into three different age groups). Classes are small and interactive and provide an opportunity for socialization between students as they learn.
For those in the Chicago area, meal prep kits with ingredients, equipment, and recipe cards can be purchased in advance and are available via curbside pickup.
Best for Kid-Led Instructional Videos: Real Food 4 Kids
Real Food 4 Kids is an online cooking school taught by kids themselves (ages 9 to 14).
The founder started Real Food 4 Kids with the hope of taking out the stress some parents feel while cooking with kids and promote hands-on learning. The school started with a brick-and-mortar location in Des Moines and recently launched its online program.
Classes are purchased in a subscription plan (about $20 per month), or you can commit to a three-month membership at roughly $15 per month. Dozens of recipes are available each month across approximately 10 different categories.
Your kids can learn how to make classic favorites like chicken fingers, waffles, and chocolate chip cookie pie as well as sweet potato wedges, mini frittatas, smoothies, crepes, and more. Each dish includes a recipe sheet with ingredients, equipment needs, procedures, and tips on how to get kids involved in the cooking process.
New recipes are added to the website every week and remain on the site for future access.
Best for Families: Kids Cooking Green
Founded in 2006, Boston-based nonprofit organization Kids Cooking Green started as a hands-on, after-school cooking program for children. In addition to teaching children the life skills of cooking and healthy eating, one of the primary goals of Kids Cooking Green has been to highlight the benefits of local food and farming.
With the pivot to a virtual platform, Kids Cooking Green continues to offer regular classes, but now via Zoom instead of in-person. There are several programs designed for kids in kindergarten through their teens.
An example of courses offered includes Friday Family Cooking Classes, featuring farm-fresh meals with ingredients from the Lexington Community Farm that are designed for families to cook together. Private virtual cooking parties for birthdays and other celebrations are also available upon request for ages 5 and up.
Best for STEAM Learning in the Kitchen: America’s Test Kitchen - Kitchen Classroom
America’s Test Kitchen wants kids to spend more time in the kitchen. Its Kitchen Classroom is a free resource for parents to use as a guide for cooking with their children.
New recipes are posted on the site each week with hands-on activities, experiments, and fun food quizzes designed as a kitchen curriculum based on STEAM education. Examples of recipes include turkey burgers, summer tomato and peach salad, vegetable tacos, and no-churn ice cream.
Each week’s postings include a couple of simple recipes that come together quickly in 15 minutes or so, and then a more-involved recipe for the whole family to join together in the kitchen on a free day. There's also a food-related activity, along with a newsletter for parents that acts as a guide for how to prepare and make the recipes with kids and how to incorporate learning in the kitchen.
Staying true to the mission of America’s Test Kitchen’s, each recipe published on the website has been tested by a group of more than 5,000 kids around the country, so it is truly "kid-tested" and "kid-approved."
For those with little foodies who want even more kitchen time, there is a Young Chefs’ Club program that delivers themed boxes every month (designed for kids ages 5 and up) and access to exclusive cook-a-long videos, recipes, and activities. Pricing for this is about $25 per month; discounts are available if you commit to a six- or 12-month plan.
How We Chose the Best Online Cooking Classes for Kids
The platforms were chosen based on a variety of content, instructor experience, the flexibility of the format and schedule, and ages of the target audience. Customer reviews and pricing were also considered.
For example, King Arthur Baking Company’s Baking Bread with Kids program was chosen for its baking expertise catered to little ones, Raddish Kids was chosen for its cook-along with series, as well as supplemental educational assignments, and Real Food 4 Kids made the list for its kid-led instructional videos. Food Literacy Center and Kids Cooking Green were both highlighted for their free programming and farm-to-table education.