One of the best ways to protect your children from eating too much fast food as they grow older is to teach them to cook.
The Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Service will hold a “Kids in the Kitchen” cooking school for youth ages 9 to 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 26-27 at the Extension Service, 930 N. Portland. The cooking school teaches young people the basics of food preparation and an understanding of basic nutrition.
“We live in a world where many people have either forgotten how to cook or never learned how to prepare healthy meals,” said LaDonna Dunlop, director for the Oklahoma County Extension Service and a registered dietitian. “If people want a healthy diet that helps them avoid obesity and the health risks that go along with that, it's a big help to learn how to cook.”
Beginning chefs will receive hands-on instruction in basic cooking techniques, including how to follow recipes and what it means to steam, bake, broil or baste.
“Our goal is to make our cooking schools fun as well as educational,” said Diana Romano, family and consumer sciences educator for the Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Service and also a registered dietitian. “Cooking is one of those basic skills if you do it well, can make your entire life and the lives of those around you better.”
The goal of the cooking school is to give children background knowledge of nutrition and basic instruction in food preparation, as well as show them how to prepare healthy snacks.
“Children often learn more by doing, so that's the concept we're promoting in our cooking school,” Dunlop said. “We'll set up work stations where small groups will prepare a specific food item, but everyone will get the opportunity to taste and evaluate.”
Space is limited, and the cost for the two-class cooking school is $30. Lunch will be served during both classes.
Gale Goodner is a communication specialist for the Extension Service.
To learn more
To register or for more information, call the Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Service at 713-1125 or go to oces.