If your little ones enjoy helping out in the kitchen, there are plenty of cooking classes that will encourage their inner chef. Some focus on kitchen safety and the importance of eating local. Others explore different cultures and international cuisines. The trick is finding the right program for your little Batali-in-the-making. From cupcake workshops to Saturday brunch meetups to weekly dinner clubs, these hands-on cooking courses teach your kids how to make tasty dishes at home — with, of course, a little bit of help from mom and dad.

                                                                                        photo: Freshmade NYC via Yelp

Freshmade NYC
Enroll your budding chef in one of the many classes offered at this cooking studio at Broadway and Bleecker. Check out its schedule for pop-up themed classes, including Taco Night and a Make Your Own Sushi demonstration. Freshmade NYC also holds semester courses for kids as young as 20 months. The studio’s signature Brunch ‘N’ Munch series teaches toddlers how to prepare healthy brunch foods like smoothies and pancakes. Older chefs ages 4 to 7 can participate in the Kids Dinner Club creating seasonal meals. Want to sample a class before committing to a full semester? The studio offers a one-time drop-in pass that you can purchase online.

Freshmade NYC
636 Broadway #516
Online: freshmadenyc.com

                                                                                                       photo: Didriks via Flickr

Young Chefs Academy
Does your little sous chef want to “help” whenever you are in the kitchen? Sharpen his or her skills at Queens-based Young Chefs Academy’s Camp Can-I-Cook. The program features a three-hour lesson for three, four or five consecutive days, with themes varying according to the current season. A winter session might focus on hearty old-world Italian dishes, while a week during the summer could revolve around cool treats to beat the heat. The Academy also offers a KinderCooks program for tots ages three to five. The lessons are designed around age-appropriate themes, such as shapes, numbers and colors. Classes are limited to 15 kids and are conducted by one teacher and an assistant. Depending how often you attend, you might want to consider purchasing the Chefs Club Membership, which offers discounts on classes, birthday parties and YCA merchandise as well as exclusive access to member-only events.

Young Chefs Academy
108-10 72nd Ave.
Forest Hills
Online: youngchefsacademy.com

                                                                       photo: Chef Toni’s Cooking Adventures via Yelp

Chef Toni’s Cooking Adventures
Chef Antoinette Willard is a mother of four. She’s also the culinary mastermind behind Chef Toni’s and an advocate of the local food movement. Her classes highlight the importance of using fresh ingredients and knowing where the food on your plate comes from. Cooking Adventures, a popular course offered on weekday afternoons, teaches the values behind and the techniques to prepare farm-to-table cuisine. On select Saturdays, Chef Toni also holds a Cook & Play seminar for kids ages 5-13. Live downtown and don’t want to trek to the Upper West Side? You’re in luck. Chef Toni partners with other venues to offer classes in Battery Park City and Tribeca.

Chef Toni’s Cooking Adventures
967 Columbus Ave., B1
Upper West Side
Online: cheftoniscookingadventures.com

                                                                photo: The Art Farm in the City via Instagram

The Art Farm in the City
Do the little ones look forward to trips to the farmer’s market? They’ll love learning how to make dishes from local ingredients in The Farm’s Foodies Cooking Class. Offered for kids ages two to eight, your little ones will get a chance to cook with fresh ingredients and participate in a sensory adventure. A typical lesson includes smelling local herbs and spices, peeling rhubarb and tasting new fresh fruits and veggies. Each semester, the instructor designs a seasonal organic menu from around the globe. Carmelized Apple Galette, Carrot Cheez-Its and Spring Berry Focaccia are just some of the dishes kids will learn how to cook during the 11 week session. You can also drop in to sample the class for a $40 fee.

The Art Farm in the City
419 E. 91st  St.
Upper East Side
Onine: theartfarms.org

                                                                                   photo: Taste Buds Kitchen via Yelp

Taste Buds Kitchen
This Chelsea kitchen caters to everyone in the family. Your two-year-old will love the school’s cupcake workshops while your six-year-old will get a kick out of solving mysteries in the Cooking Science class. If you’re in need of a date night, the kitchen transforms into a BYOB evening cooking school. We highly recommend the New York Pizza course if you want a laid back outing away from the kids. If you want to bring the whole brood, there will be a Mother’s Day Tea Party this May, at which little ones will make blueberry scones drenched in a perky lemon glaze just for Mom. Tea party attire is encouraged so don’t forget to wear a hat and your best party dress.

Taste Buds Kitchen
109 W 27th St.
Online: tastebudskitchen.com

photo: Butter Beans Kitchen

Butter Beans Kitchen
The brainchild of local moms, Butter Beans Kitchen is a program that provides healthy lunches for schools throughout the city. It also offers events and camps at Manhattan and Brooklyn locations that pass on the wisdom of eating and preparing delicious, local, and nutritious food. During spring camp  (April 6-10), students ages five to 11 shop for seasonal produce at the Union Square Greenmarket, bake with Krumville Bake Shop, plant seeds in the classroom and more. Food & Garden summer camp — also for kids ages five to 11 — fills the day exploring farmer’s markets, creating jams, cheeses and breads, and learning about composting, urban farming, foraging and beyond. Butter Beans will also be hosting family events on topics ranging from foraging in Prospect Park to making quesadillas and salsa in April and May. (See events calendar for details and registration.)

Butter Beans Kitchen
Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn
Online: butterbeanskitchen.com


photo: NY Kids Club via Instagram

NY Kids Club
The play center hosts weekly classes at many of its locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Parents are encouraged to stay and watch the Cooking Juniors Class as their kids learn skills like mixing, stirring and whisking. The Club also offers independent participation courses, with classes appropriate to various age levels. Each lesson covers international cultures and unique cuisines found around the globe. Check in with your nearest NY Kids Club to find out which classes are currently available.

NY Kids Club
11 locations in Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn
Online: nykidsclub.com

photo: Didriks via Flickr

Allergic to Salad
Do you have a picky eater on your hands? This blog-turned-cooking school will get your kid excited about helping out in the kitchen and trying new foods. Among the many unique and memorable classes featured on the calendar this spring is an Edible Toys from the Kitchen seminar. Kids ages three to eight can learn how to make everything from lava lamps to sidewalk chalk out of cooking staples found in your kitchen cabinet. The hands-on classes have only two rules: you have to try everything and you don’t have to like it. Check Allergic to Salad’s calendar to find out about upcoming events near you.

Allergic to Salad
Various locations in NYC
Online: allergictosalad.com

What cooking classes have your kids enjoyed? Tell us about them in the comments!

–Michelle McIvor Cohen

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