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Creative Kids in the Kitchen

Culinary Club kids posing with 4-H leaders and their projects (wearing masks)A cooking club is a no-brainer. Kids love food and enjoy the responsibility of making it and sharing it with others.

Benefits of a Culinary Club

goodies in a decorative box, made by 4-H kidsLearning to cook builds confidence and independence. Kids love the idea of having part in preparing meals. This in turn helps youth explore different types of foods as well. For some this increases the taste pallet that be a game changer of what kids eat. 4-H Culinary Club teaches youth how to use a variety of cooking utensils. It develops their understanding of reading and following a recipe through hands on application (sometimes they learn from their mistake). And let’s not forget the table etiquette, portion sizes, food groups, and food presentation skills that are developed through culinary club.

Culinary Club Meeting

4-H member holding a strawberry that is cut in a heart shapeTaylor County 4-H kicked off the first face–to-face culinary club meeting in February with valentine boxes youth prepared individually. Each participant made heart shaped strawberries, cocoa bombs, heart shaped cheese, chocolate dipped pretzels, rolled deli meat and sliced cantaloupe. This culinary project was completed through preparing individual culinary stations positioned 6 feet apart, using individually prepared ingredients. Youth later stated, “We didn’t know how to prepare cocoa bombs, but I have watched kids make them on YouTube, and now I can make them myself”. Another youth stated, “Can I 4-H member coating mold with melted chocolateuse multi colors for the icing for my pretzels? I think this will give the pretzels a different look.” Replying, absolutely, this is your chance to be creative in the kitchen. For most, this was the first time preparing food/gift boxes that captured a majority of the food groups with a small sampling of something sweet. Once they finished preparing the food boxes, they had a chance to decorate their box with heart shaped 4-h member cutting a strawberry into a heart shapestickers. The club members discussed presentation of foods and how to make selections that are pleasing to the eye. Participants also had a chance to tell club leaders what they would like to learn next.

If you would like more information on 4-H projects and clubs, please contact Abbey Tharpe at 838-3508 or by email at abbeytharpe@ufl.edu.