If the pandemic has turned your family into budding chefs, why not make it official? Signing them up for a kids 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 virtually or in-person (following COVID-19 guidelines of social distancing and mask-wearing). 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. They’ll also pick up kitchen chopping skills and hone in on their math skills. And when class is over, you’ll have lots of delicious food to eat and a few TopChef juniors in the house. Scroll down to find a kid-friendly class near you.
featured image via Bambino Chef
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Here are 9 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. Though in-person classes are currently on hold, the after-school virtual classes let kids whip up yummy treats like cookies with homemade seed-based sprinkles. 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 and junior chef classes for grade-schoolers. You can also book private group classes (great for your pandemic pod). And if you’re looking for a fun and safe birthday celebration, a few locations are hosting virtual cooking parties.
Various locations in New Jersey
The Farm Cooking School
Taught by two former Gourmet Magazine test-kitchen chefs and cookbook authors, The Farm Cooking School has plenty of unique classes and camps to keep kids busy. They’ll learn about knife skills, make pasta, pies, tarts, and even cook a three-course meal of their choosing. While most are in person, there are virtual classes too—recent offerings include taco dinner and Italian night.
67 Pleasant Valley Road
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
Kids ages 4-9 cook up the basics, 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, which offers single classes from April to June. Depending on the class, they’ll learn how to make meals or sweets, including cheese dishes, spring baking treats, or various bread and muffins. 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 designed specifically for kids, teens, and families. On the menu are s’mores bars, classic diner clubs, 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 with one general theme (March is baking). 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