Kids in the Kitchen: Yummy Mummy cookery classes for little chefs
Jolene and Lily Mae

Kids in the Kitchen: Yummy Mummy cookery classes for little chefs

AWARD-winning food blogger and cookbook author Jolene Cox recently started a new online recipe series aimed at encouraging children to develop their cooking skills in a fun and enjoyable way.

Jolene, who lives in Tallaght and is the founder of the ever-popular One Yummy Mummy blog, has devised the Gem-sponsored ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ classes for little chefs.

The classes will be led by Jolene’s nine-year-old daughter, Lily Mae, billed as a ‘mini-chef’, over Zoom once a month in February, March, April, May and June.

Explaining the rationale behind the classes, Jolene told The Echo: “When a child learns how to cook, you give them a skill that will forever change their lives for the better.

“But it’s not just about cooking – it’s about giving children a sense of accomplishment and self-worth, and it boosts their confidence.

“Learning an important skill for life is just the cherry on the top, excuse the pun!”

She added: “As children get older, they will have a greater awareness of where the food they eat comes from, and the benefits of consuming fresh ingredients.

“They will grow up being familiar with food preparation, have knowledge about food and nutrition, and be armed with choices, like whether to order that pizza or make one of their own.”

The classes take place at 5pm and each cover a different recipe, such as pancakes, a traditional sponge traybake, homemade pizza, tandoori butter chicken and Moroccan-style meatballs with homemade flatbreads.

“Cooking is an extremely important life skill for children to learn,” added Jolene.

“Cooking with kids can be so much more than just making cupcakes and licking the bowl.

“Getting them involved in the food prep of everyday meals from a young age not only teaches them about ingredients and where our food comes from, it also gives them life skills that they will have forever.”

As for mini-chef Lily Mae, the young girl is excited to share the joy of cooking with other children over the next five months.

“Lily Mae is an amazing cook for her age, and the other children learn so much because kids will always relate more to another kid, and learn so much more from their peers,” said Jolene.

“As soon as a child logs into one of our classes they feel at ease because they see another child greet them.

“I am there, of course, for reassurance and guidance, but our kids in the kitchen feel instantly at ease.

“We teach them about safety in the kitchen, but they understand that ingredients fall on the floor and cooking with kids isn’t ‘Pinterest perfect’.

“How the children feel at the end of class when they have cooked a dish from scratch is immeasurable, I wish I could bottle that!”

To sign up for classes, visit oneyummymummy.com and subscribe to the Family Cooking Club, with a cost of €10 monthly or €100 annually.