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Culinary summer camps teach kids how to cook healthfully

By Laura Christiansen Staff Intern EAST LONGMEADOW - For the young creative chef, What's Cooking, Kids? is going to host culinary summer camps this year. The camp is available for up to nine weeks and each camp is five days long. Each week has a different theme. One theme is "Around the World in Five Days." "The kids are going to make different cuisines from Greece, Italy, China, India and the United States," Jennifer Mathews, owner, said. For Italian food, they plan to make ravioli. The kids will also make things like chicken tikka masala from India, and General Tso's chicken from China. One day of the week is dedicated to the cuisine of each country. Another theme is "Creative Cooking." This week's goal is to familiarize kids with the kitchen. "[For] Creative Cooking, we're getting to know the kitchen and tools that are in the kitchen. [We teach the kids] how to properly wash dishes and set a table. We also teach them how to use small hand tools and appliances, like a food processor," Mathews said. Among the other themes are "Pass the Baked Goods, Please" and "Dishes from Famous Chefs." "Pass the Baked Goods, Please" is a week full of baking. The kids will get the opportunity to make breads, cookies, pies and other baked treats. During the week of "Dishes from Famous Chefs," the kids will try to figure out the secrets of famous chefs. The chefs include Alton Brown, Paula Deen and Sandra Lee. Each theme is presented for two of the available weeks during the summer. "We want to introduce children to cooking and to educate them that healthy food doesn't have to taste bad. All of our recipes are portion controlled, lower in fat, sugar and sodium. We wanted to make this activity fun and educational," Mathews said. The summer camps begin on June 22 and end on Aug. 28. For each child, the cost is $200 per week. Kids are welcome to join the fun for more than one week; however, registration ends when all the classes have reached 12 students. For more information and registration call What's Cooking, Kids? at 224-1208.

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