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Sugar House Journal

Need to mix up your summer fun? Try cooking with your kids

May 21, 2018 11h20 ● By City Journals Staff

Kylee McBride loves cooking with her family. (Photo/Sara McBride)

By Christy Jepson | [email protected] 

Summer is usually a time when schedules loosen, kids need a remedy for the “I’m bored” syndrome and parents try to get kids off their electronics. During those long, hot summer days, taking time to teach cooking skills in the home or enrolling a child in a cooking class is a beneficial and educational activity. 

Over the past eight years, the McBride family has learned the many valuable lessons that can be taught in the kitchen, besides learning how to prepare a healthy meal or snack.

“The skill and knowledge of how to run a kitchen teaches so much more than just eating and not being hungry,” said Sara McBride, a mother of four children. “Budgeting money, communication, trying new foods, learning about cultures around the world—all of these principles can be and should be taught in the kitchen.” 

Kylee and Kjerstin McBride enjoy cooking in the kitchen with their mom and dad, Sara and Corey. Kjerstin, age 9, realizes the special time she gets to spend with her dad when she helps him. 

“He is a really good cook and knows a lot,” she said. “And l like that we can cook together and talk together. It’s extra time I get to be with him.” 

Both sisters recently took a Little Chefs cooking class at Harmons and loved it. Although they were a little nervous at first, they quickly realized it was fun, and they learned different kitchen skills. 

“My favorite part was the whole class,” Kjerstin said. “I’d never done anything like that before, and it showed me I am a good cook. The chef was really nice and helpful.” 

During this three-hour kids’ cooking class, about 15 little chefs gathered in a large kitchen around a central cooking area in Harmons and watched a professional chef demonstrate how to make macaroon cookies. Then the students were divided into groups of three and tried making their own macaroons. 

“If we needed help, the chef would come and help us and then tell us we were doing a good job,” said Kylee, age 7. “We each made our own mix and then that made our own cookies. There was lots of ingredients in the kitchen already, and we each got to use what we needed to make our own cookies.” 

Not only did the McBride sisters make delicious macaroon cookies, but they had fun and gained confidence while learning to make something new. 

“My favorite part of the class was being able to do it all on my own,” Kylee said. “I didn’t have anyone taking over for me. I got to scoop, measure, and stir and mix it all myself. And taking home a box of delicious cookies was really fun, too. I shared it with my whole family.”

After the class, their mother noted the many benefits of the class.

“Besides kitchen safety, they learned cooking techniques like whisking, piping, blending and measuring, which reinforces basic math skills,” Sara McBride said. “They also learned to try new foods and flavors. They came away feeling proud of themselves and the delicious cookies they had created.”

Before his daughters took a cooking class, Corey McBride took a cooking class to help increase his interest in cooking.

“In the past, I learned to cook from books and the internet; however, I found that there is only so much you can learn by reading and watching videos,” he said. “Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, live instruction is worth a thousand pictures.” 

Corey McBride enjoys cooking and wanted to try cooking with a wok. He read up on wok cooking and watched online videos, and he became more fascinated with this type of cooking.

“I soon realized that reading and watching videos wasn’t going to be enough, so I start looking for a cooking class I could take,” he said. 

He too enrolled in an adult cooking class at Harmons and had a wonderful experience.

“The wok class introduced me to so many new ideas,” Corey McBride said.

The McBride family believes that whether at home or in a community cooking class, teaching a child to cook lends itself to many positive outcomes. 

“Parents cooking with their kids is a great way to develop a good healthy relationship that extends into all parts of life,” said Corey McBride. “In addition, there is a great sense of accomplishment that can come from something as simple as making cookies.” 

Some local places that offer cooking classes are Harmons at Bangerter Crossing, City Creek or Holladay Market (visit for prices and classes), and The Home Lab (900 E. Pioneer Road in Draper, visit for prices and classes).