Friday, March 14, 2014

No-Bake Cooking with Tweens

I had been planning to post about the "Cooking With Ms. Kelly" program I had planned this week but mother nature had other plans. The library closed early because of snow and the program has been rescheduled. Instead of the recap post I had planned, I've decided to share some more general tips about doing this kind of program. It has been very popular here, and it has definitely become one of my favorites.

Tips for No-Bake Cooking with Tweens:
  1. Find a very simple recipe with minimal ingredients. We do a lot of dips and no-bake cookies. I've shared some of my favorites here. Feel free to use them :)
  2. When all else fails, cover stuff in chocolate! It might be a little messy but of course the tweens love it. I bring a crockpot to melt a a few packages of chocolate chips, or buy candy coating and melt it in our microwave. I've actually done a whole cooking class based on chocolate. A few of those recipes can be found here.
  3. If possible, have the kids cook their own individual portions of each dish. This keeps all the kids engaged at the same time. It also gives them an opportunity to be creative and modify the recipe to suit their taste. For instance, if they don't like one of the ingredients, you can let them leave it out.
  4. Make sure you test out the recipes before hand. I almost always have to make some slight change, especially if I've modified the recipe. It can also help you get a handle on whether you have purchased enough ingredients.
  5. Recipes that use the microwave can be great, but very time consuming with large groups.This is why I don't use these kind of recipes very often.
  6. Don't try to fit too many recipes into one program. With the 12 tweens that typically come to my monthly ATLAS (At The Library After School) program I can usually get through 3-4 recipes in an hour.
  7. Provide the kids with recipe handouts to take home. The recipe handouts I've shared above are a good example of mine. 

Hopefully this information and recipes will come in handy next time you are cooking with kids at home or in the library. I'd love to hear if anyone else has tips to share as well.


  1. I love the suggestion to use a crock pot! I've long wanted to do a cooking program but since we don't have a kitchen it would have to be simple recipes--but I had never thought about using a crock pot! That has to open up the options a bit.

  2. It definitely does! It could be used in many ways, although chocolate will always be my favorite :)