FCSS’s Tiny Chefs helps teach youth cooking skills

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Cooking is a vital skill to teach children as they prepare to move out on their own, so Nampa/Northern Sunrise Family and Community Support Services have created a program to help parents teach their offspring the skill.
Tiny Chefs is a cooking program that is provided every month to children between the ages of 4-15 years. It is held in Cadotte Lake at the Mamowintowin Hall, with the next class being held Dec. 6.
“Our community development coordinator Kristen St. Arnault created the program,” says FCSS director Amber Houle.
“We started the program right before the pandemic and it is run monthly.”
Houle explains Tiny Chefs was held throughout the pandemic too, with parents pre-registering their children and FCSS dropping off kits to learn to cook via Zoom.
“Some families just don’t have the basic cooking skills to teach their children,” says Houle, explaining that the program is meant to help on various fronts.
“Kids learn the basic cooking skills and parents have a chance to interact with their kids. It also helps promote making healthy food choices.”
Houle says each month children and youth have a chance to help decide what will be made at the next class. They’ve made everything from pita pizzas to caramel apples, all guided by the children.
“At the December class, they will have a Christmas theme,” she says, adding she thinks they are doing holiday baking.
“The great thing is the kids get to bring whatever they make home with them.”
There is no cost to attend the Tiny Chefs cooking class, and parents or guardians are asked to attend with their children.
“We get a pretty good turnout every month, with upwards of 10 youth attending,” she says.
“Families are coming together and are encouraging healthy eating.”
To participate in this month’s Tiny Chefs class with your child, please contact Kristen at the hall (780) 629-2477 or her work cell (780) 219-1761. Registration is preferred to ensure there are enough ingredients for everyone who wants to participate.
January’s class will be held on Jan. 11 from 5-7 p.m.

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