Cooking Club In After School Setting



Cooking Club is a very popular after school club choice. Let’s be frank, if eating food is involved children will suddenly become more interested! But Cooking Club is a choice, not without its complications such as:

1) Many child care centers have limited kitchen access or only have access to a microwave/refrigerator which makes it difficult to “cook” any food.

2) Safety can become a concern with hot surfaces & knives. Using plastic utensils and active supervision is crucial

3) Cooking Club can easily become junk food club. Try to balance by offering a good mix of treats and healthy options!

Make your own ice cream

This activity is very fun for the kids and after they are finished they will have a fun slushy treat to taste.


  • ½ cup whole milk or half and half
  • ¼  teaspoon vanilla or 1 teaspoon chocolate sauce
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • 1 sandwich size ziploc bag + 1 quart size bag (optional, for double bagging)
  • 1 gallon-size ziploc bag
  • Ice (depending on the size of your group you may need a lot, so purchasing bags of ice is recommended)

Step 1~ Fill gallon size bag half full of ice and add rock salt

Step 2~ Combine the rest of the ingredients in the sandwich bag and have the kids choose their flavor ~ vanilla or chocolate.

Step 3~ Hand the bag to the child and instruct them to shake it vigorously for approximately 5 minutes.

Each child will need to take turns with an adult in preparing their ice cream bag. While they are waiting you can provide them with a Drawing Activity to draw their perfect ice cream sundae!

Chocolate dipped frozen bananas


  • Chocolate chips
  • Bananas
  • Craft Sticks
  • Sprinkles, Fruity Pebbles, mini M&M’s, coconut flakes and additional chocolate chips

Step 1~ Before getting started with the group cut the bananas in half and insert the craft sticks about half way up. Place the bananas in the freezer for 2-3 hours until firm

Step 2~ Have adults melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Heat for 30 seconds and stir and repeat the process until melted. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate.

Step 3~ Set up a dipping/topping station and help each child to dip their banana and top it with toppings of their choice

Step 4~ Let the chocolate cool to room temperature and then place bananas back in the freezer ~ once frozen eat and enjoy!

Yogurt Parfaits


  • Granola
  • Various chopped fruits~ blueberries, peaches, strawberries
  • Vanilla and strawberry yogurt
  • Clear plastic cups & spoons

Step 1~ Explain to the children that parfaits are desserts that come in layers. Have the children choose layers of their choosing.

Step 2~ Set up an assembly line of all the ingredients children may choose to put in their parfait

TIP: While kids are waiting you can put out colored permanent markers and let the children color the outside of their parfait glasses or you can provide some fun, healthy food printables at

Ants on a Log


  • Peanut Butter (or light cream cheese if you have students with nut allergies)
  • Celery, cut into sticks
  • Raisins

Step 1~ Make up plates for kids so they make their own ants on a log. On each plate provide: A plastic spoon full of peanut butter of cream cheese, a handful of raisins, 2 celery sticks

Step 2~ Let the children build their ants on a log and eat them or save them for later.

Step 3~ Read a  fun story about food such as We Eat Food That’s Fresh by Angela Rush-Ayon or Super Sprouts by Laura Concannon.

English Muffin Pizzas

This is a super fun hands on project! Kids will enjoy them even if you do not have a toaster oven to heat them!

  • Ingredients:
  • English Muffins (wheat for a healthier snack)
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Assorted sliced veggies-olives, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions

Step 1~ Set up an assembly of all the ingredients. Before starting ask the children to identify each ingredient, what food group it is in and why its good for you. ( i.e. cheese has calcium, bell peppers have vitamins A & C)

Step 2~ Allow the kids to choice their toppings and put together their pizzas. Use a toaster oven to heat them, or eat them as is!


Frosty the Bagel












Ingredients: Bagels, carrots, cram cheese, broccoli, olives, cucumbers

These are great as they double as a craft and a snack! And if you decide to call them Olaf snacks, you can make them all year round!


Teachable Moments in Cooking Club

  • Teach measurements and cooking terms- teaspoons vs. tablespoons, cups vs. ounces
  • Vegetable/fruit identification trivia and bingo
  • Cooking teaches them planning and making choices
  • Working together as a team

Links for more recipe ideas for Cooking Club


Related Posts with Thumbnails

5 thoughts on “Cooking Club In After School Setting

  1. Hi Marie

    This is a great website you have – very informative. I help with one schools cookery club and am in the process of setting up another. I reaqlly struggle to find suiable recipes that are in a child friendly format. Any tips ? Do you mind if I link o your site from mine ?


  2. I am a middle-school teacher and I am trying to find ideas for an after school activity for some of the at-risk kids. I think a cooking club is a great idea.

  3. What a wonderful website with lots of information.
    Maybe we could support each other in educating children in a fun way.
    Children are our future.
    Kind regards

  4. Hi!
    I’ve been asked to do food club presentations for third graders.
    For October I’m going to do Carmel apples, but moving forward
    I’m looking for new things to do without cooking, but things that
    are new. Not, making ice cream in a bag, etc.
    Do you have any ideas for November.
    I am a retired chef, but would like to make it interesting.
    Chuck LaCortiglia

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