A Recipe For Fun

Teaching more than 100 apron-clad children to cook may sound like a recipe for disaster, but organizer Katie Janetski insists, "Kids in the Kitchen was fun and educational, if not quite easy as pie."

The Seventh-day Adventist churches of Columbia Falls and Kalispell recently hosted a weeklong program in Whitefish Central School, incorporating cooking lessons for kids ages 5–13 into learning about a healthy lifestyle. After advertising in the town of Whitefish with some banners and fliers for only a week, 80 kids had preregistered over the phone and church members were sewing like crazy so each child could have an apron. On opening day, 110 children showed up ready for cooking fun!

Each day began at 10 a.m. with a general assembly. Kids sang songs, heard stories and watched a simple, fun demonstration of the recipes they would make that day. Kids and adults alike loved "Chef Longevite" and his puppeteer team who presented an aspect of the eight laws of health each day during the general assembly time.

Next, the kids split into groups by age to go to seven different kitchens in the school with leaders and teen helpers from our churches. Everyone had their own kitchen space to work in and every child received their own personally decorated recipe box.

Each day featured a different category of foods such as breakfast foods (granola, fruit smoothies and granola parfaits), sandwiches and lunches (whole-wheat bread, burgers, tofu mayonnaise, oven fries), main entrees (lentil nut loaf, macaroni and cheese) and healthy desserts (almond sheet cookies or tofu cheesecake with berry sauce).

Kids in the Kitchen culminated on Friday when the children hosted a banquet for their parents in the Whitefish Central School gymnasium. They learned how to set tables and decorated each one with fruit-and-vegetable art. When their parents arrived, the kids served each course and kept water glasses full.

The parents loved the food, and many said that this was the most fun summer activity their kids had experienced.

There is not a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Whitefish, and as a result of this program, a branch Sabbath School has been started on Sabbath afternoons at a rented location in Whitefish. Ian, a boy now attending the branch Sabbath School, said, "I can't wait for Kids in the Kitchen to come again!

November 01, 2007 / Montana Conference