Kids in the Kitchen teach local youth how to chop, boil and fry

Apr 16, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 1 comment

Kids worked at cooking stations to fry bacon and boil chicken as they learned to make BLT Chicken Salad. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Exposing a child to a new skill reveals just how exciting basic knowledge can be. During the OSU Extension Kids in the Kitchen program held in the Oak Harbor Extension office, a lot of excitement was stirred over an onion.

“The kids were so excited about cutting an onion. They thought they were sous chefs of the world,” said Molly Avers, a 4-H Youth Development Educator with OSU Extension.

Avers created the program last fall after receiving funding through an Ohio 4-H Foundation grant that provided money to purchase kitchen kits. The purpose of the program is to teach basic cooking skills to kids. The program was open to all local children ages seven to ten. They did not need to be 4-H members to participate.

4-H Youth Development Educator Molly Avers talks to kids about boiling chicken during her Kids in the Kitchen program. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“Talking to parents, I learned that many kids don’t know how to cook. We don’t have many home ec classes in schools anymore,” Avers said. “I want to start them early and get them into cooking.”

The spring Kids in the Kitchen program had three sessions. At the first session, the kids made breakfast pizza. Lucas Deroza said he learned how to cook eggs.

“I liked cutting the onion and eating the pizza,” said eight-year-old Ari Joy.

At the second session on April 10, the kids made BLT chicken salad. They boiled the chicken, fried the bacon, and managed every step of the cooking process. The classes taught them how to measure properly and safely cut with a knife.

A girl flips frying bacon at the OSU Extension office in Oak Harbor during the Kids in the Kitchen program. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“We learned how to cut right, and we learned how to tell when a peach is ripe,” said eight-year-old Lydia Wadsworth.

The students cook at stations equipped with skillets, hot plates, pots, pans, cutting boards and bowls.

“We’re cooking bacon again this week, but we’re using a pan rather than a pot,” said eleven-year-old Bridget Berry. “Last week, we learned how to make gravy.”

The kitchen kits include several utensils, including some that were unfamiliar to some of the kids. When seven-year-old Landon Lajti asked Avers if he could use the pastry brush while making the chicken salad, Avers explained that they wouldn’t be “painting anything today.”

The Kids in the Kitchen program includes a blender bike. Kids have to pedal the bike to make the blender blades turn. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“Can’t we just paint the bacon?” Lajti asked.

Avers walked from station to station, teaching kids the basics of cooking, such as knowing when the water was boiling hard enough to cook the chicken.

“It’s not ready yet,” she told kids at one table. “We want a raging boil. Right now, it’s just mad.”

For more information on OSU Extension programs in Ottawa County, visit https://ottawa.osu.edu.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Gresser

    A class very well needed. Thanks to those who put this together.

    Reply

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