How to become a cooking teacher for kids

Updated April 17, 2017

Becoming a cooking teacher for kids requires two distinct skills: the ability to teach children and the ability to effectively demonstrate the art and science of cooking. Just because a person has experience cooking at home does not mean she will also be able to teach others how to cook. Loving to cook and/or loving kids are both important, but formal culinary education and experience teaching children are almost always required to be a children's cooking teacher.

Enrol in cooking classes. Research the various culinary schools in your area. Cooking schools are similar to colleges in that they come in different sizes, possess different reputations in the field and sport varying price tags. Identify the type of cooking that most interests you, and then look at the programs that the various culinary institutes offer (see Resources).

Research other cooking class opportunities. Many schools, vocational or otherwise, offer special evening or summer cooking classes. If you are unable to attend a full-time culinary school, sign up for an evening class or two. These short courses will provide the aspiring cooking teacher with some of the necessary culinary training, as well as contacts and exposure in the community.

Get a teaching certificate/degree, if required. If the ultimate goal is to teach cooking to kids at a public school at either the junior high or high school level, a teaching certificate/degree is required.

Get to know your teachers and talk to them about what it takes to become a cooking teacher for kids. Cooking schools, in particular, may be able to match you with possible teaching opportunities. Discuss these potential ideas with the school's career counsellor.

Gain experience teaching children by applying for substitute teaching positions. These jobs may require a teaching certificate but often they don't, especially in private schools. If no paid substitute teaching positions are available, try volunteering at a local school in the classroom. Help out regularly at times when special children's projects are being done, such as messy arts and crafts activities or science lessons.

Plan a children's cooking lesson and contact a local public library with the facilities for a cooking demonstration. Announce the date and details of your free lesson in the local newspaper, and hang flyers at the town grocery store, advertising the event. Work with the library staff to set up the demonstration that may include using a hot plate, electric frying pan or microwave oven.

Apply for teaching jobs at public schools or in special cooking schools for children that offer cooking classes to a large range of age groups, including small children with a parent present up to teenagers.

Run your own teaching business for kids from a home kitchen or studio. This will require your chosen location to undergo regular safety inspections and strict adherence to health and safety regulations, which vary from state to state. Contact the state health and safety department to get educated on these important laws.

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About the Author

Karen Plumley, a freelance writer since 2004, specializes in parenting, children's issues and special needs. She is a regular contributor to several printed publications including "Parenting New Hampshire" magazine, "Seacoast Life" magazine, "KidBits" magazine, "Kidz Rule USA" and various websites. She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of New Hampshire.