Cook with Students
Cooking with students educates and empowers students to make nourishing food choices through hands-on learning. Cooking is a life skill and supports math, science, language, social emotional development, physical development (fine motor skills) and cognitive development.
Cooking with Students
NOTE: With COVID-19-
- Follow recommendations from San Francisco Department of Public Health
- Choose recipes that can be cooked with each student having his or her own ingredients.
- Try simple recipes or tasting activities in remote learning.
Before Cooking with Students
Before cooking with students:
- Check for allergies [check with parents/caregivers, check Allergy Emergency Care Plans, ask School District Nurse]
- Teach a lesson on handwashing and universal precautions.
Demonstrate proper knife use, even if students are using plastic cutlery.
Choose a Recipe
Choose a recipe:
Match the recipe to your students’ developmental level. See Kitchen Skills at Every Age
Think of cooking as a nutrition education/health lesson and choose nourishing recipes: www.eatfresh.org is an excellent resource:
- Recipes available in English, Spanish, Chinese
- Search feature by culture, ingredient, “kid-friendly”, limited cooking equipment
- For young students, do not make a community dish; each student should make their own recipe--especially with cold, uncooked dishes
Choose recipes that represent the communities of the students in your class or have students bring in family recipes.
- Cleaning equipment: Kitchen towels or paper towels, dishwashing liquid, sponges, disinfecting spray
- First Aid Kit
- Access to handwashing, hand sanitizer
- Consider keeping your equipment in a large plastic bin with a lid. This makes storing easy and convenient.
- Skills: washing, measuring and mixing
- Recipe Ideas: Yogurt parfaits, Trail Mix, fruit salad, vegetable salads/dressings
- Measuring equipment: Dry measuring cups, liquid measuring cups, measuring spoons
- Glass jars
- Reusable cups, plates, and cutlery, napkins
- Skills: washing, mixing, measuring, cutting, slicing, blending, pouring
- Recipes: Veggie roll ups, fruit kabobs, smoothies, fruit/herb infused “spa” water, simple sandwiches, fresh salsas
- Mixing bowls: (large, medium, small)
- Knives-See recommendations above
- Cutting Boards/large plates
- Water Pitcher
- Apple slicer
- Rubber Spatulas
- Wooden round edged coffee stirrers (Instead of pointed wooden skewers)
- Skills: washing, mixing, measuring, cutting, slicing, baking, grating, flipping, spreading
- Recipes: English muffin pizzas, Stone Soup, quesadillas,
- Cheese grater
- Wooden Spoons, spatula/flipper
- Can Opener
- Cutting Boards
- Bowls (Large, medium, small)
- Oven mitts
- Electric fry pan
- Single burner electric coil
- Pots, pans, skillet
- Use of oven or portable convection oven
- Parchment paper
- Baking pan
- Sheet pan
The following recipes can be modified for all groups.
Strawberry Banana Smoothies
One Recipe, Three Grade Levels: Strawberry Banana Smoothies
Serves: 2 full portions; 6 smaller portions
Serves 6 small portions
- ½ banana, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup berries, frozen
- ½ cup lowfat milk or unsweetened non dairy milk or silken tofu
- ½ cup 100% orange juice
- Cutting board
- Measuring cup
- Mixing Spoon
- Serving cups
- Place all ingredients in a blender container . Put lid on tightly .
- Blend until smooth . If mixture is too thick, add ½ cup cold water and blend again .
- Pour into 2 glasses and serve.
PK - Grade 1
Each student uses a plastic fork and paper plate to mash their own fruit and then scrape into a paper cup. Adults can pour liquid ingredients into the cups, while students “blend” with their forks.
Grade 2 - 5
- Students work in small groups, create smoothies while learning about nutrients and creating short commercials.
- Lesson plan
Middle School & Beyond
- Research the differences between USDA MyPlate and Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate