Have young budding chefs in your family? Signing them up for a kid’s cooking class can be the best way to fight the after-school boredom and help you out at mealtime (we call that a win-win). Luckily, there are plenty of kid-friendly cooking classes in New Jersey for your kids to do in-person or virtually in your kitchen. And the choices are both delicious and kid-approved— from faves like tacos, chicken parm, and pasta to yummy treats like s’mores bars, Irish soda bread, and muffins. What’s more, kids will pick up kitchen chopping techniques (great for fine-motor practice) and hone their math skills. And when class is over, you’ll have lots of delicious food to eat and a few rising TopChef juniors in the house. Scroll down to find a kid-friendly class near you. (featured photo credit: Istock/Lordn)
Here are 10 places to sign up for kid-friendly cooking classes in NJ
This Jersey City-based cooking school owned by NJMOMprenuer Rene Gonzalez focuses on kid-friendly flavorful, and healthy dishes. Gonzalez is a certified chef and youth nutrition specialist, so her classes feature healthful plant-based ingredients like spices, seeds, nuts, and fruits to replace unhealthy ones. Virtual and in-person classes and camps are currently on the roster. And since the recipes are purposely made with a few ingredients, you won’t need much more than what you get during a regular grocery run.
213 Newark Avenue
Chef It Up NJ
This kid cooking franchise offers in-person “mommy and me” classes with littles, junior chef classes for grade-schoolers, and private group classes. Most of the facilities are 100% peanut and nut-free, so your little ones can participate in the joy of cooking even if they have allergies. And if you’re looking for a fun and safe birthday celebration, host a party with Chef It Up or Chef It Up 2 Go.
Locations in Mt. Olive, Nutley, Toms River, Bergen County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Passaic County, Somerset County, and Sussex County
Lil Sous Chefs Cooking School
Lil Sous Chefs is a mobile cooking school in South Jersey that comes to you for private lessons or parties or has a revolving calender of public events with something for everyone. Founded in 2019, the school is geared toward kids ages 2 to 17, but adult parties are also available. During the events, kids are taught by certified instructors who infuse food-centric games and trivia questions where kids win prizes into their sessions.
Available to South Jersey Areas
If Italian is always on the menu at your house, these family-style cooking classes are for you. In person, the whole family can learn how to make spinach gnocchi and crostata pie, fettuccine, cannolis, cookies, or pizza and crepes. Virtually, the family classes are a great way to make mealtime more fun with options like a lunch of grilled chicken or a pasta dinner with homemade vegetable sauce.
55 Main Street
There’s a class for all ages here, focusing on making kid-faves like lemon chicken and breakfast enchiladas, cookies, and pies. Pre-teens and teens can participate in the cooking and baking club, offering single classes from April to June. And if you want to give your kids the farm-to-table experience, sign them up for the camp. This new program will allow them to grow herbs and veggies in a common garden and cook with the bounty in class.
710 South Avenue West
Kings Food Markets Cooking Studio
This in-store cooking studio has classes explicitly designed for kids, teens, and families. On the menu are everyday Italian, risotto, and chicken parm sliders, as well as more expert dishes (for older kids) like triple chocolate donuts, beignets, New Orleans fried chicken, and bolognese lasagna. Look for holiday-themed classes (St. Patrick’s Day, April Fools Day) and ones that correlate with a book, whipping up treats mentioned in the story.
778 Morris Avenue
Young Chefs Academy
Young Chefs Academy has classes for junior chefs (ages 7-12) and senior chefs (13 plus). Sign your kiddos up for a single class, or have them develop, build upon, and sharpen their culinary skills throughout several classes. And each class is completely different from all the others, so they’ll never get bored.
712 Ginesi Avenue
Montclair Cooking Academy
With an emphasis on enriching junior chefs with basic culinary skills, classes cover food safety, food science, math, and social skills. Every month, they have a series of after-school cooking classes that explore different types of cooking as well as summer camps with themes like Street Food of the World, Knife Skills, and British Bake Show Stopper. And if you’re wowed by what the kids cook, check out the adult sip and cook series (date night, anyone?).
550 Valley Road
Ridgewood Culinary Studio
Sign up your kids for a six-session (one hour each) course to teach them the basics of the culinary arts covering cooking and baking. They’ll learn how to chop, use tools, bake, and explore different cuisines and recipes.
223 Chestnut Street
Looking for hands-on cooking for your little ones without leaving your kitchen? With classes ranging from My First Cooking Class to Taste Testers to Healthy Kids, RWJBarnabas Health Hannah’s Kitchen Cooking Series offers ongoing virtual courses for kids and their caregivers each month. Your child will learn how to cook with nutritious ingredients, how to read a recipe, kitchen safety tips, measuring techniques, knife skills, and more.
Do your kids like to cook? We’d love to know—share it with us in the comments below.
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