Creating Cooking Lesson Plans for Toddlers and Preschoolers 

Cooking is a useful way to teach preschoolers a number of different skills within the curriculum. It uses all five senses and the senses are a gateway to the brain which enhances learning. Using cooking lesson plans for preschoolers also helps children to feel a sense of accomplishment and independence.
The following is a list of other aspects of the curriculum that can be taught through a cooking lesson:


Nutrition – cooking lessons are a great way to teach good nutrition and the food groups


Health – teach young kids about cleanliness; washing hands, washing dishes, cleaning up after yourself



Safety – cooking lessons offer wonderful examples of how to stay safe in the kitchen



Math – cooking often involves measuring, counting and fractions



Reading – while cooking you often have to decode symbols, read a recipe and follow a sequential order



Language – cooking promotes communication, vocabulary and following oral directions



Sciencemany times you can witness chemical changes, you’ll use problem solving and can be involved with plant and animal products



Social Studies – by involving foods from different countries and talking about careers with food, you can use a cooking lesson to teach social studies



Small Motor Skills – things like pouring, stirring and mixing will build small muscles



Social – children must use cooperation and taking turns when cooking in groups



Emotionalsuccessfully completing a recipe builds self confidence and emulates success





Tips for Cooking with Your Toddler or Preschooler


Cooking with one child or several is so much fun!  But, it helps if you are organized and prepared for this task.  The following tips will help you to successfully orchestrate a cooking lesson:


-   Use Simple Recipes – while using a recipe that has to be cooked in the oven is not out of the question however, many times it is easier to use a recipe that can be eaten right away.  But, always make sure that the cooking lesson fits the interests and the abilities of the children you are teaching.


-   Your Recipe can Fit in with Your Teaching Theme


-   Select Your Cooking Location Carefully – you don’t always have access to a kitchen in a classroom but, pick a spot that is near electrical outlets, a sink and washable surfaces.


-   Work with a Small Group of Kids at One Time


-   Gather All of Your Utensils and Ingredients Before You Start the Lesson


-   Pre-Cut Ingredients Where Necessary


-   Supply Aprons and Chefs Hats for the Kids if Possible


-   Use Disposables Whenever Possible to Cut Down on Clean Up


-   Start by WAHING HANDS!


-   Display Your Recipe – create a large poster to illustrate the ingredients and utensils you will need in the recipe.  Use symbols in addition to words; write the letter 2, draw 2 apples and write the word Apple.


-   Go Over the Recipe with The Kids Before You Start – demonstrate step-by-step what the children are supposed to do, go over the ingredients and explain words like “chop” and “beat”.


-   Allow the Children to do The Majority of the Work


-   Teach Safety in the Kitchen and How to Use Utensils Properly


-   Use the 5 Senses – encourage the children to use their senses where possible


-   Ask Questions and Keep the Conversation Going


-   Let the Children Taste the Various Ingredients As You Create the Recipe


-   Be Open to Suggestions


-   Praise the Children’s Efforts


-   Encourage Good Manners


-   Involve the Children in the Total Process Including Setting the Table and Clean Up


-   When Cooking with a Toddler or Preschool Class, Ask the Parents to Donate the Various Ingredients and Send Home a Copy of the Recipe with the Children


Yummy Recipes to Try with Your Kids


When was the last time you and your child did something fun together? With these fun recipes, you and your son/daughter can have fun making something they'll love and crave for years to come.  These simple recipes give your child the chance to learn things like measuring, sequence and fractions.  It also gives you the chance to bond while doing everyday things.


Kid's Cobb Salad




1 head of Romaine lettuce

1/4 pound of 99% fat-free deli-sliced turkey breast

1/8 pound of low-fat Swiss cheese

1 tomato

4 slices cooked crisp turkey bacon

1 hard boiled egg

¼ cup fat-free blue cheese dressing


1. Cut Swiss cheese and turkey into strips, crumble bacon, chop lettuce, chop tomato into cubes, and dice egg.

2. Place lettuce in two salad bowls, top with other ingredients and toss.

3. Spoon two tablespoons of dressing over each salad and serve.


Pecan Apple Pizza




2 Granny Smith apples

3 Tablespoons and ½ teaspoon sugar

1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons chopped pecans

sheets phyllo dough, thawed

1 Tablespoon melted butter

3 Tablespoons store bought caramel sauce


1. Peel and thinly slice the apples.

2. Combine apples, 3 Tablespoons sugar, lemon juice, flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl and set it aside.

3. Combine pecans with the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set it aside.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

5. Spray 6 inch pizza pan with nonstick spray. (As you’re doing all of this, keep the phyllo covered with plastic so it doesn't dry out) Lay 1 sheet of phyllo across the pizza pan and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo, spraying each with the nonstick spray. Make a rimmed edge on the phyllo by rolling the edges in.

6. Arrange the apple mixture in circles on the phyllo, brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle on the pecan mixture.

7. Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes, then drizzle with the carmel sauce.


Sweet Candy Pie




¼ cup butter or margarine

4 cups mini marshmallows

6  cups crisp rice cereal

50 chocolate kisses or 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips

½ cup flaked coconut

2 cups Reese’s Pieces


1. Heat butter and marshmallows on high in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute then stir until marshmallows are melted completely. Add the cereal and mix.

2. Press mixture into two greased 9-in. pie plates.

3. Melt chocolate kisses in the microwave or over the stove and stir until smooth.

4. Spread over the crusts and sprinkle with coconut and candy; press down lightly.

5. Let stand until chocolate is set. Cut into slices.


Pizza Sandwitch




8 slices Italian bread

8 slices mozzarella cheese

8 slices tomato

4 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

24 slices pepperoni

¼ cup butter

Warmed pizza sauce


1. On 4 slices of bread, lay one slice of mozzarella, two slices of tomato, one teaspoon parmesan cheese, a bit of garlic salt, and six slices of pepperoni.

2. Top with remaining mozzarella and bread and spread outside with butter.

3. Toast sandwiches for 3-4 minutes on a hot griddle. Toast on each side or until golden brown.

4. Serve with pizza sauce.



Toddler or Preschooler Recipes 

A cooking lesson is such a fun way to spend time with children whether you are a caregiver, teacher, parent, relative, babysitter or friend!  For more simple recipes that can be used at home or in the classroom that are prefect for the toddler or preschooler in your life go HERE.

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