Young Chefs Club
FOOD: Meal Planning and Cooking
The Young Chefs Club is a series of primarily mathematics-based lesson plans that will simulate a cookbook. In Part One, students will learn about kitchen tools and measuring basics, how to stock a pantry, and the steps involved in meal planning and budgeting. In Part Two, they will learn how to cook recipes and prepare common dishes. The concepts guiding the recipes involve shopping from a “grocery store” and purchasing the required ingredients for a family. This format will vary. For instance, students may have a set dollar amount to purchase ingredients for a recipe and need to calculate portions for a family of six versus a family of four. Students may have the choice between a lean cut of meat and a fatty cut but opt to purchase less of the leaner option at the same price. Based on the recipe, students might “shop” at an Asian Grocery Store, a Farmer’s Market, a Supermarket Chain, or a Hispanic Market. Once the items are purchased, then the meal can be “prepared”. Depending on the recipe, different mathematics concepts such as fractions will be further explored. Students may need to measure ¾ cup of flour, but only have ¼ cup and 1 cup measuring cups available.
Furthermore, there are Social Studies and Science connections, so teachers can teach some of these lessons during another Science/Social Studies unit. Examples of science concepts include boiling and freezing water, baking bread with yeast, and food handling safety. For the culturally diverse recipes, both non-fiction and fiction literature can be introduced to explain corresponding food traditions.
Additionally, for many of these assignments, educational type homework will be designed with the goal of transmitting information to the parents of the school community.
- Students will be able to describe the basic equipment used in the kitchen.
- Students will understand mathematics concepts used in the kitchen such as measuring tools, fractions, and metric conversions.
- Students will be able to describe how to stock a healthy pantry and refrigerator.
- Students will be introduced to the Choose My Plate format of healthy eating.
- Students will begin to learn how to meal plan using grids and charts.
- Students will learn how to shop for a family on a budget while still choosing healthy foods.
- Students will see how science is applied in the kitchen.
- Students will explore different food traditions via children’s literature.
- Students will be introduced to healthy, culturally diverse, affordable recipes that they can cook at home with their parents.