Does your child long to be the next Master Chef Junior? Do they enjoy helping you prepare and cook food? Kids often take joy in spending time in the kitchen learning about food preparation, how ingredients combine to create dishes they love, and even creating their own culinary delights.

Having your kid attend a cooking class, both hands-on or virtual, not only helps them learn the basics of cooking, but they also benefit in many other ways. Let’s talk about some of the benefits of kids’ cooking classes and several places in the Gilbert, Arizona, area where they can take these classes.

Benefits of Kids’ Cooking Classes

Kids participating in a cooking class hosted by a professional chef.

Image via Flickr by The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa

When a child learns how to cook, they develop self-confidence as their skill levels increase. Following recipes lets them learn how to follow rules, count, and understand complex math problems such as fractions, especially when they are doubling or reducing the amount of each ingredient called for in the recipe. Depending on the age of the child, they learn fine motor skills when they are chopping, dicing, grating, mixing, and squeezing.

Cooking allows a child to use their creative and artistic skills as well. Once they learn the basics of what ingredients go well together to create certain flavors, they can start to branch out and experiment with other flavors and combinations. Learning about food presentation helps them with art and communication as they learn how to explain what their dish is in an appealing way.

Taking a cooking class with your child can create a fun bond and helps to encourage kids to share kitchen duties with the family. Whether your kid wants to interact in a classroom-type setting or if they’re more comfortable taking a virtual class, here are three schools in the Gilbert area where kids can take cooking classes.

L’Academie School of Baking & Cooking

Imagine learning how to cook from award-winning professional chefs. That’s the level of instruction your child will get when they attend L’Academie School of Baking & Cooking. When you begin a class or workshop, each participant gets an apron, and students enrolled in the Pastry I and Pastry II classes get a special chef jacket.

Unless you’re taking a one-on-one class, the format of the workshop features a chef demonstration followed by the student preparing the dish the chef has shown them how to make. After tasting, comments, and reviews, you can take your food home with you in your own container.

Workshops are varied and include cake pops, sourdough bread, canning, and ethnic-themed classes. Kids’ workshops include the Kids Hand Pie Workshop, where your 8-year-old or older child learns how to make rustic pies like the lemon blueberry or caramel apple hand pie. The “Daddy and Me” Pizza Workshop is a great way for dads and children 6 years old and up to bond and have fun making two types of pizza from scratch.

Would you like a fun and different birthday party experience for your child? L’Academie customizes fun hands-on cooking activities for the kids that they’ll enjoy participating in and sharing with their friends. To learn more about age restrictions for their classes and workshops, check with L’Academie School of Baking and Cooking.

Sweet Basil Gourmet

If your kid wants to take a virtual cooking class, sign up for one of Scottsdale-based Sweet Basil Gourmet’s online classes. Classes begin with a live demonstration from the school’s chefs featuring three recipes. You and your child can participate from your connected device in your kitchen or just watch, take notes, and make the recipes later. Once you sign up for the class, you’ll get a shopping list, a recommendation of equipment, and a Zoom link so you’re prepared before the virtual class begins.

Before class, simply download the Zoom app, and about five minutes before your class begins, log in. You’ll sit in a virtual waiting room for a few minutes, and when class begins at the prescribed time, simply join in. If you have questions for the chef, type them in the chatbox and the moderator will send your question to the chef.

Sweet Basil also offers hands-on cooking classes just for kids and teens. A popular class for kids 8 years old and up is the one where the kids cook dinner for their parent or favorite adult. Kids bring their partner to the class and prepare a dinner such as pretzel-crusted chicken fingers with honey mustard sauce or citrus pork carnitas with grilled pineapple salsa and serves it to them.

Sign kids and teens up for summer cooking camp for an immersion cooking experience. Kids Cook Camp is for kids 8 to 12, and every day they learn a new style of cooking including sliders, noodle dishes, and cupcakes. The format for the teens’ camp is the same but for kids 13 to 18. The teens learn how to make more advanced dishes such as Vietnamese spring rolls, chicken piccata with capers, and cranberry-orange scones.

Mix Cooking School

Mix Cooking School in Chandler offers special kids’ workshops throughout the year. The classes and workshops are held on the weekends or around kids’ holidays so it’s easy for the young ones to attend the in-house classes. Workshops are varied and include the Kids Pasta Workshop, where the students learn how to make handmade fresh pasta from scratch. Students learn how to use a KitchenAid mixer with attachments, and they’ll also learn how to make two separate pesto sauces.

Other workshops include cupcake making, kids’ baking camp, and Kids Around the World ethnic-themed cooking. The school’s chefs will taste one batch of the finished dish, and the other goes home with the student to share with the family. Please contact the school to learn age restrictions for the kids’ workshops.

We hope you enjoy our list of cooking classes for kids and you to check out. Which one is your favorite?