Summer Cooking Camps for Kids in #Alberta – my @AlbertaatNoon Column for April, 2016

cooking utensils - @savouritall blog
Some of my favourite cooking utensils – photo credit – Geoff Lilge

Entrepreneurs invent business opportunities to meet societal needs. Few parents have the time or skill to teach their children to cook. Few schools include cooking in their curriculums and yet, thanks to the work of food educators like Jamie Oliver we know we need to reconnect children to food literacy and cooking skills. Enter the entrepreneur.

Need creates opportunity and here’s the response – this post contains a list of very entrepreneurial summer cooking camps for kids around Alberta this summer.

Alberta Cooking Camps for Kids – Summer 2016


Poppy Innovations – offer classes for kids or parents and children together

Atco Blue Flame Kitchen – offers a series of cooking classes for a variety of ages with emphasis on world cuisines and trips to local farms

The Cookbook Co Cooks – Week long camps from mid-July to mid-August

SAIT culinary camps – For children in Grade 4 and up

Vecova – Mini chefs camps run all summer

Cuisine et Chateau Interactive Culinary Centre – Grades 3 – 7, weekly, July 4 – August 26


Parks and Recreation – for ages 4 – 12

NAIT culinary camps – For Ages 8 and up from July 4 – August 19

Also check at Williams-Sonoma, Sunterra Markets and various Superstores for ongoing classes in Edmonton and Calgary.

Red Deer

The Cooking Room – the summer schedule is not up at this time but perhaps if they get enough inquiries they’ll run children’s cooking classes

Red Deer College – Junior Chefs on Campus – ages 9 – 12


Lethbridge College – Culinary Boot Camp for ages 10 – 16

In a previous post I outlined the negative outcomes if children don’t connect with food and learn to cook. Here’s a list of the benefits of investing in cooking lessons for children as follows:

  1. Cooking skills requires and enhances mathematical skills.
  2. Children who cook improve their reading skills.
  3. Cooking develops fine motor skills and coordination.
  4. It teaches sequencing, prioritizing, organization and time management.
  5. Cooking teaches children responsibility and the need to clean as they go and to tidy up after themselves.
  6. It develops self-esteem and a feeling of capability while also sparking imagination and creativity.
  7. It teaches healthy eating and encourages experimentation and exploration of new flavours.
  8. It allows a chance to practice problem-solving.
  9. It allows for the creation of special family memories and bonding.
  10. It sets a human being up for a healthy life.

If you can’t afford to send your children to a cooking school and are gong to tackle this DIY style here’s a list of Ten foods children should know how to make by Claire Thomson of The Guardian. Pizza dough, soups, salads, tomato sauce, eggs, roasting chicken, breakfast smoothies and easy snacks will take a child a long way.

Teaching your child (and yourself) to cook is definitely an investment of time and effort that will pay it forward for generations to come. So use the internet, get some good basic cookbooks and ask for help from friends who cook.

I’m a strong home cook but do you want to know how I got that way? I started cooking in Grade 4 for a family of six. I had to take my turn cooking every fourth night and I helped with setting the table or cleaning up the other three. I burned lots of potatoes and carrots but eventually – with lots of practice – I became competent and then creative.

Be patient. Be easy-going. Keep it fun. The return on this investment is life itself.

Chopped vegetable salad - photo credit - Karen Anderson
Eat the Rainbow Salad – photo credit – Karen Anderson


  1. Tandi

    Have you seen the new Micheal Moore movie – Where To Invade Next? He tells of great ideas from other cultures. In France, eating lunch is a class. The children learn about good food and savouring it at school. What a great idea. :_

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