The Toddler Test Kitchen in the Phoenix area is a fun and engaging way for little ones to learn about healthy eating in the form of a parent/child cooking class! It’s a great way to try new foods for an otherwise picky eater, or introduce various cooking utensils and skills in a safe environment.
We had the opportunity to join a Toddler Test Kitchen class at Awesome Toddlers, in Gilbert. The classes are geared for ages 2-6, so the teacher graciously allowed both our children (ages 4 and 7) to participate, making our oldest a special helper. There were about 6 other children in the class as well. Miss Yaffi started off with an introduction, showing the highlight for the two recipes we’d be making: zucchini! The kids were a little wary at first. As a mom, I was thrilled to see this vegetable make an appearance because it seems to be often overlooked in cooking.
The first zucchini related recipe were cake and fruit pushups. The thin zucchini cake was already premade and the kids loved using a shot glass to cut circles for the push-ups! Next, they were able to cut up the strawberries with kid safe knives, and a cutting board. Some strawberries may have been consumed. But this is another benefit of the class: tasting is encouraged! This is part of the process of introducing new foods and textures.
Now came assembly time into the push-up containers! Each child was given a small baggie with yogurt, with the end clipped off. Starting with the cake, they layered the strawberries and yogurt piped out of the bag, to make a very colorful treat! Some kids dove right in to eating! Others kept them to take home. This was such a fun idea that could easily be replicated at home.
The second recipe was a simple zucchini noodle salad, with cherry tomatoes and a vingerette. The fun with this was the spiralizer! Each child had a chance to join Miss Yaffi and turn the crank to make their own noddles. The kids loved this, and I was personally inspired to get out our spiralizer back home to make veggie noodles.
The class also included a brief storytime, with a fun Dr.Suess book about the human body. What happens to your food once you eat? How does your body use it? It was a great tie in to the cooking class!
We had a wonderful time at the Toddler Test Kitchen class! My kids help in the kitchen at home but it was nice to have the prep (and clean up!) done for me. Also, my son asked to get zucchini at our next grocery store run and make zoodles again. So that’s a win from this mama!
Miss Yaffi was the best teacher, patient with the kids and detailed (but not heavy) with kitchen vocabulary. It’s evident she truly loves what she does, and has a passion to see families eat healthy and enjoy it. She also had some great free handouts; I really liked the baby led weaning tips, as we’re approaching the food stage with our youngest.
If you’re looking for some one-on-one time with your child that involves food, this would be for you! You’ll enjoy making and tasting the original recipes; and then once home, you’ll both have a basis to continue healthy cooking.
The Toddler Test Kitchen currently holds classes at Awesome Toddlers. Cost is $30/child. All recipes are vegan/vegan friendly. Come fall, classes will resume at The Farm at South Mountain. They are also available for birthday parties! More information can be found on their website: https://babybloomnutrition.com/toddler-test-kitchen/.