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The act of cooking and baking is not only a fun activity, but it also empowers kids and teaches them fundamental life skills.
Nowadays, they can learn how to cook and bake right from your home kitchen with online cooking classes. Join in and make it a family event, or casually supervise and let the kids learn on their own. These are our top choices for your little home chef.
Best Online Cooking Classes for Kids of 2021
- Best Overall: Real Food 4 Kids
- Best Free Class: Food Literacy Center
- Best for Desserts: Tiny Chefs
- Best for Private Events: The Dynamite Shop
- Best for Live Classes: Home Cooking New York
- Best for Families and All Ages: The Kids' Table
- Best for Serious Kid Cooks: Sprouts Cooking Club
- Best for STEAM Learning in the Kitchen: America’s Test Kitchen
Why We Chose It: This kid-led online cooking school has a mix of subscription options and classes over the summer when school is out, along with a wide range of educational resources.
Online video courses are led by kids
Teaches kids about food and nutrition
Course focuses on techniques
Video sound quality could be better
No list of available recipes
There are plenty of courses online to teach kids how to make food, but there are very few that are led and feature kids in the videos. Real Food 4 Kids has a boy or girl in front of the camera, making the instructions and video more relatable. Each video with the lead child, typically ranging from 9 to 14 years old, goes through the steps of the recipe, talking about what they are doing, with an adult narrating the technique, asking questions, and clarifying instructions. This makes for a great learning experience for the kids watching the recipe being made.
Recipes appeal to kids from 5 or 6 years old all the way up to 18, with all the videos pre-recorded so you can watch them at your own pace, rewinding and pausing as needed. Three to four new videos are uploaded each week. The initial recipes list includes recipes like chicken fingers, sweet potato wedges, homemade granola, and more, all made entirely from scratch.
Beyond the online cooking school subscription, there is a series of monthly online classes called Virtual Summer Snacks, the ability to book a private cooking or baking party, as well as a resource section of the website that covers topics like fruits and vegetables, recipe ideas, and the science, math, and art of food. The online cooking school membership is $20 per month, with a discount if you buy three months upfront. Additionally, for every monthly subscription, a subscription is given to a family in need.
Why We Chose It: This nonprofit's mission is to inspire kids to eat vegetables, and it has a 12-course, STEM-based lesson plan for everyone.
Basic fundamentals covered
Printable recipes in English, Spanish, and Hmong
Lessons focus on cooking and nutrition
Linear course is a time investment
Video and audio quality could be better
The Food Literacy Center is a nonprofit based in Sacramento, California, that focuses on inspiring low-income elementary school kids to eat fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. The website has a section of recipes with categories that range from budget-friendly and main courses to cooking with kids. In 2020, the organization opted to bring its lessons and courses online.
The 12-course lesson starts with assembling a sunflower seed butter and seasonal fruit sandwich, moves on to an introduction to knife skills, and continues through various lessons that teach kids the roles of ingredients and nutrients in the body. Sugar, fat, fiber, and salt as nutrients are all discussed, as well as different tools used in the kitchen and how to minimize food waste by using the whole vegetable. Along the way, kids learn how to make tasty meals and dishes like veggie fresh rolls, rainbow soup, and broccoli and potato tacos.
Included in every lesson plan is a detailed downloadable recipe (available in English, Spanish, or Hmong), a supply list, a lesson plan, an activity worksheet, and a video of the lesson on YouTube or Facebook. All lessons are free on the website, and there is a selection of other recipes that highlight easy, fast, and budget-friendly dishes.
Why We Chose It: Though Tiny Chefs has courses and classes for savory dishes, it’s the dessert recipes, from basic chocolate chip cookies to maple bacon donuts, that distinguish this online class.
Whimsical decorating techniques keep classes fun
Creative flavor combinations and recipes
Recipes are interesting enough for adults and kids
Pricing structure is a bit confusing
Tiny Chefs teaches online classes for savory and sweet dishes, but the dessert courses are a standout. These on-demand courses, which are pre-recorded videos, come in two different versions: a 10-recipe course and a five-recipe course. Each version has a few different dessert-focused classes, including The Art of Cupcakes, Cupcake Wars, and Donuts and Dips. And even the non-dessert-focused courses, like Cooking Around the World, American Picnic, and Restaurant Creations, include a few desserts.
The cupcake-focused courses teach you not only the fundamentals of making cupcakes but also how to decorate the cupcake in fun ways, like a shark attack cupcake, a firework cupcake, or a peacock cupcake. Flavors are kid-friendly but are innovative, such as Creamsicle, Tres Leche, and Snickerdoodle. Non-cupcake desserts are featured in other courses, like classic soft chocolate chip cookies, key lime pie, and S’mores brownies.
Virtual camps, private classes and parties, and live cooking series are available and there’s even a specific Teen Chef Academy that focuses on cooking for teenagers. One-time cooking classes start at $27 and five-recipe courses start at $49.50. You can also join the monthly club for $50 which gives you access to over 40 different lessons and recipes as well as unlimited access to the one-time live cooking classes. Joining the club also gives you perks like access to a private Facebook group, an apron, and new content that is added monthly.
Why We Chose It: The Dynamite Shop has online classes and summer camps, but its parties and group events are super customizable, allowing you to create a virtual event for 10 people to 100 people or more.
Private event planner customizes classes
Guests can mingle at the end of the event
Recording of the class is available
Recipes may require more advanced skills
Planning a kid’s party can be a bit of a chore, and virtual parties are no different. But The Dynamite Shop is there to help you out with a private event planner to take the burden off of you. They have experience teaching online classes and will work with you to customize a virtual experience that your kids will enjoy, making a special meal or dessert, with groups ranging from 10 to 100 people or more. Private classes for single households are also available.
Large cooking events are taught over Zoom and include one to two hours of cooking lessons. Ingredients and equipment lists are sent out beforehand so you and your guests can prepare for the event. The recipe is provided so you follow along and make the dish during and whenever you want afterward. Unlike other private events, the Zoom call will continue after the instructor is done, letting the guests hang out to eat the food they just made, chat, and celebrate. Recordings of each class are available upon request.
Standard event lessons include fresh pasta, cupcake challenge, breakfast bash, and more. And if you don’t want one of the standard event lessons, you can pick items from The Dynamite Shop's dinner and baking club menus or discuss customizing a lesson plan unique to your needs. Pricing starts at $350 for up to 10 households, with an additional $20 each for up to 30 households. Over 30 and up to 100 households is a flat $750. You can even add on an additional half-hour of instruction for more lessons (like a dessert) for an extra fee.
Why We Chose It: Home Cooking New York's Supper Club for Kids is a live interactive class one night per week that puts the kids in charge of making dinner, giving them a sense of responsibility and empowering them to be independent.
Set up for kids 10 and up to cook independently
Live class format
Class times may not work for everyone
Home Cooking New York is one of the few online courses listed here that doesn’t focus just on kids or teens. It does offer a wide range of individual adult classes, but there's also a special category for “good for kids + families.” Beyond those individual courses is a specific series of weekly classes, one on Wednesdays called Wednesday Supper Club and one called Weekend Baking Club. Both are designed for kids age 10 and up to cook independently.
Wednesday Supper Club features a full menu that the kids can make for dinner for the family. Past menu items have included Indian tikka masala; spicy bean, and corn tacos; and fresh ricotta gnocchi with pesto sauce. Weekend Baking Club features different baked goods inspired by "The Great British Bake Off." Past recipes have included eclairs, focaccia, and beignets.
Weekly virtual summer cooking camps are also available for kids age 10 and up with two-hour daily classes Monday through Thursday, during which kids will learn meals to make during the session. Days are thematic, ranging from Brunch dishes to Mexican, Southern, or Asian. Unlike the Supper and Baking Club, which start at a specific time, multiple start times for summer camps are offered for different time zones. Ninety-minute weekly cooking and baking classes are $45 each, while summer camp prices are $225 per week.
Why We Chose It: Multiple classes are offered and categorized into different age brackets: 5–10, 11–14, and all ages/families.
Various classes for different age brackets
Other family members in the same house can join
Class times may not work for everyone
Vegetarian recipes may not suit all palates
The Kids' Table features live virtual cooking classes for kids, teens, and families. With a wide range of vegetarian recipes, the organization breaks its classes into different age groups for specialized instructions and focused attention for each age bracket. Unlike other online classes, siblings and family members in the same household can participate on a shared screen (as long as they are in the age range).
Classes range from one-hour bake it up classes, which are open to families and all ages, to the 5- to 10-year-olds and teen groups. These classes feature recipes like peach crumble, cheesy broccoli calzones, and blueberry handpies. The two-hour supper club is available for the whole family to prep and cook, as well as a teen Supper club class in which the teens take over dinner duty. These classes feature dishes like vegetable samosas, Navajo tacos, and mac n’ cheese pizza. A weekly virtual summer camp is also available for kids aged 7–10 and 11–14. Themes include cupcake wars, around the world, and doughs and pastries.
Classes start at $18 for a 1-hour class and $35 for a two-hour class. Discounts are available for purchasing all four weeks in the series. Virtual summer classes are $175 per week and feature two-and-a-half-hour classes Monday through Friday.
Why We Chose It: Virtual cooking classes are taught by renowned chefs to teach kids the fundamentals of cooking.
Classes taught by accomplished restaurant chefs
Teaches fundamental kitchen skills
Heavily subsidized cost or free
Virtual classes not always available
Sprouts Cooking Club is a nonprofit based in Oakland, California, that has a mission to help teach kids of all socio-economic, physical, and mental health backgrounds how to cook food through hands-on training with actual restaurant chefs. The chef-in-training program focuses on underserved young adults and teaches them skills they can use in a restaurant setting. Other programming includes cooking classes in restaurants as well as online, allowing for kids from all over the United States to learn from professional chefs.
Previous online classes have been taught by accomplished chefs from award-winning restaurants like Nancy Oakes, Dominique Crenn, Eric Tucker, and others. A series of virtual classes, taught by James Beard award-winning chef Timothy Hollingsworth—formerly of French Laundry and now the owner of Otium in Los Angeles—focuses on fundamentals such as knife skills and foundational recipes like bechamel and other mother sauces. Past classes have taught dishes like Thai curry, flatbread with tomato cucumber salad, and homemade risotto.
Sprouts also organizes virtual after-school and summer camp classes which are coordinated with your children’s school, so contact the school about setting them up. Classes are suitable for kids aged 7 to 12 without any cooking experience. A typical class like this would be extremely expensive, but through the generous donations of corporations and individuals, the classes are offered at a heavy discount. Virtual classes are subsidized, available for less than $25 or completely free.
Why We Chose It: America’s Test Kitchen is known for its thoroughly-tested, science-based recipes, and now it has used that approach to create a top-notch kids club.
Fun STEAM food-related activities
Kid tested and approved recipes.
Recipes rarely include a video
Not customizable for siblings or special diets
America’s Test Kitchen develops solid, foolproof recipes through testing and science. It has taken that methodology and created a young chef’s club that not only has kid tested and approved recipes and activities, but also breaks down the fundamentals of the science of cooking so kids can understand both the meaning and the process. Subscription boxes are sent out once a month and contain projects that range from 15 minutes to a few hours, with recipes that can be cooked again and again.
Monthly boxes feature recipes, hands-on experiments, kitchen technique cards, as well as a “make it your way” recipe challenge, buttons, stickers, and a cooking tool or specialty ingredient. Bonus items are also in each box and include things like coupons, games, puzzles, taste tests, and more.
Beyond the subscription box, there is lots of free content on the website, featuring recipes like zucchini bread, M&M cookies, sheet pan French toast, and more. Recipes are clearly marked at the beginning with information about the recipe, informing adults about safety concerns (like the use of a knife or hot oven), difficulty level, the time involved, and the recipe yield. With over 250 recipes (as well as myriad activities and quizzes), there’s plenty of free content to occupy a kid. Subscription boxes start at $24.99 per month, with discounts available if you buy six or 12 months in advance.
Online cooking classes for kids can empower, engage, and educate a new generation of adults who are comfortable in the kitchen and love to cook and bake. Being able to take online classes means your kids can learn from some of the best culinary educators across the country. Each cooking course and school has its own style to fit your needs. We recommend starting your search with Real Food 4 Kids because of its kid-led, relatable course structure, educational component, and the fact that it has a mix of pre-recorded classes as well as an option for live virtual classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Age to Start My Child in an Online Cooking Class?
Children mature at different ages and classes are designed for different ages. That said, there are a number of classes that are geared toward kids as young as 5 or 6. Depending on how mature your child is, you can start them as young as you feel comfortable.
What Do Kids Learn in a Virtual Cooking Class?
All classes are different. Some focus on fundamentals like knife skills (and may suggest using a plastic knife for young kids) or start by showing kids how to make easy, no-cook snacks like sandwiches. Others teach kids how to bake or do more complicated dishes such as salads, fresh pasta, dips like guacamole, and tacos.
How Much Experience Do Kids Need to Take an Online Cooking Class?
Classes range in how much experience kids need, but most are designed for kids with no cooking experience. Any class that is more advanced will usually explain the experience a child will need in the description.
Do Adults Need to Be Present for Children’s Online Cooking Classes?
Only an adult or caregiver of the specific child can determine the appropriate amount of supervision needed. That said, most classes will tell you in the description if the class is suitable for independent learning or if the class might need supervision from an adult.
We carefully researched and assessed numerous articles and reviews across the internet and consulted with parents, kids, cooking instructors, and cooking schools to find the best criteria for a successful online cooking class for kids. There are numerous options out there, but we strove to find a wide range of classes and courses that suit the needs of a variety of kids.