Classroom cooking is an educational activity that keeps students engaged. It is a great way to use what students grow in the school garden, giving them the opportunity to enjoy fresh, seasonal produce while practicing math, reading, and life skills.
3 things to do before you conduct a food lesson with your class
Encourage parents of children with allergies (bee stings, penicillin, food allergies…) to have their Health Care Providers complete Allergy Emergency Care Plans. Copies of the completed allergy plans should be in each student’s record folder. Teachers should keep track of students who have food or dietary concerns and make food substitutions in recipes.
Teach a lesson on the importance of hand washing. Lessons are available in the District adopted health curriculum. Post a hand washing poster by the classroom or bathroom sink. If no water is available in your classroom, purchase a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Teach students about kitchen safety and demonstrate proper knife use. It is recommended that students in primary grades use a sturdy plastic knife, older students can use a round tipped serrated “steak” knife.
Here is a list of basic items for preparing food in the classroom. Ask for donations from parents. If you have the resources for a more permanent set up, stocking a mobile cooking cart is a wonderful addition to any school. For assistance in funding, contact your local parent-teacher organization for ideas. The following list includes basic items for preparing food in the classroom. It includes items for the class and items for small working groups.
Suggested List of Cooking Cart Equipment:
Assorted sizes of pots with lids
baking pans or dishes
cart, rolling utility
citrus juicers, small
skillets, large (12"-14") non-stick
spoons, large wooden
cutting boards, small plastic
bowls, mixing, assorted sizes
sponges with rough side
electric skillet (optional)
spreaders (serrated with rounded end) or
sturdy plastic knives or
round-tipped serrated “steak” knives
first aid kit
steamer insert for pot
whisks, assorted sizes
kitchen towels or paper towels
Select healthy recipes
Select healthy recipes which:
highlight colorful fruits and vegetables
include Whole grains
limit saturated fats and cholesterol and do not include trans fats
Choose a healthy recipe from a recommended website:
KidsHealth.org - Easy recipes for children and teens, some recipes for those with special nutritional needs
Recipe Links at CDPH - Links to multi-cultural cookbooks and recipe ideas found on the California Department of Public Health website
Recipe Finder - Database of recipes in Spanish and English, part of SNAP-Ed Connection, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA). Database is searchable by various criteria, including calcium-rich, whole grains, price per serving, non cooking…
Nutrition Education Project
San Francisco Unified School District
Student, Family, and Community Support Department
1515 Quintara San Francisco, CA 94116
PH: (415) 242-2615 FAX: (415) 242-2618