My Daughter’s Kitchen
My Daughter’s Kitchen is an 8-week after-school cooking program with the simple goal of teaching kids to cook healthy, affordable meals from scratch. The program is volunteer-taught and teaches students how to use whole ingredients to prepare dinner for 6 on a modest budget. Each class culminates in a shared, family-style dinner.
Small classes of five 5th and 6th graders are exposed to a wide range of new ingredients, and because they are the ones preparing the food, they’re invested in tasting the results. The 5:2 student-to-adult ratio creates an environment for students to practice teamwork, leadership and self-expression.
Founded by the former food editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Maureen Fitzgerald, the program continues to be featured weekly in the paper to a loyal audience. The weekly articles share the week’s recipes, the students’ reactions, and the lessons learned with the Inquirer’s 300,000 subscribers and millions of online readers at Philly.com. An archive of the articles can be found here.
Excerpts from the articles:
- “We have seen a real transformation in the boys… There has been a real shift in behavior, and a real pride in the meals they are preparing.”
- “The most rewarding part of teaching kids to cook is watching them progress. They not only build very practical skills in the kitchen – learning how to hold a knife, chop onions, peel carrots, sauté and roast – they also learn to keep an open mind.”
- “These 10-year-olds have become quite comfortable with getting dinner on the table, not only prepping and cooking but also setting the places, doing the dishes, and, perhaps what draws the most interest, portioning the food.”
- “These fifth graders were familiar with similar dishes from Chinese take-out. But this recipe would produce a healthier, lower-salt, lower-calorie version that would serve six people for less than $20.”
If you are interested in hosting My Daughter’s Kitchen at your school, fill out our survey here.
If you are interested in becoming a My Daughter’s Kitchen volunteer educator, please visit our volunteer page.