Updated On: June 19, 2020

Cooking

Art & Design

Children & Teenagers
Come to a conclusion: Can food be art? Do some research and see what you think. Start on your own if you don’t want to have your opinion influenced, and then check out these pictures!

Children & Teenager
Design & Create: Compete with parents or siblings in a cooking contest. Compete for most beautiful dessert, most colorful beverage, or anything else you an think of.

All Ages
Paint: Use foods to create natural dyes, and paint a picture with them. Here is some information to get you started with dye making!

Children & Teenagers
Practice: Learn cursive or calligraphy to create a fancy meal invitation or menu for family or friends. Alternatively, learn how to use a software program or document editor to create them. 

Engineering & Technology

Children & Teenagers
Investigate: Look for the latest in food technology and recent inventions that might be used to increase the nutritional quality, or extend the shelf life of food, or any number of things.  Food Technology magazine is a great place to start! Also, the Food Technology wikipedia page!

Investigate: Learn what you can about the food supply chain. How can you eat a pineapple in North Dakota in January? Can changes be made to get food that goes bad to people who need it? 

Family  Connections

Children & Teenagers
Gather: Talk to family members about family favorite recipes, and things they remember about eating throughout life. What were special dishes for them when they were kids, what food was always eaten on a certain holiday, etc. If you feel inspired, create a family cookbook from what you learn. You can do this on paper or digitally. 

Health

Nutrition

Children
Read: Most kids want to grow bigger. Learn how healthier eating impacts growth in this article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Children & Teenagers
Write a Journal Entry: Keep a food journal documenting daily nutrition intake and notes about general well being. You could also do this digitally with any number of apps. Extend to a bit more biology by calculating the number of calories you need in a day, you can use this calculator,  and track food intake over a week or more to review your nutrient intake.

Language & Thinking

Reading

Follow directions: Pick a cookbook and cook your way through it! Have you ever seen the movie Julie & Julia? Julie cooks her way through Julia Childs’ book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Try out this fun challenge yourself, choosing any cookbook you like.

Writing Nonfiction

Children
Write: Create recipe cards for your favorite dishes. You can use programs like Word or OpenOffice software, or create hand written cards. 

Children & Teenagers
Write an Article: Write an article about your cooking secrets. Maybe even start a blog! 

Leadership & Entrepreneurism

Children & Teenagers
Create: Make YouTube tutorials in the kitchen as a fun way to get kids to learn skills in planning, writing, filming, editing, and engaging with others. 

Children & Teenagers
Run a Business: Making a goal to sell a certain food item. This requires a learner to plan a menu, budget, and sales strategy and marketing, to practice photography, cooking, and then salesmanship. 

Life & Home Skills

Children & Teenagers
Hold an event: Plan a dinner party for your friends and family! You can go with a theme, work with a budget, or use an constraints you want or need to. 

Implement: Take responsibility for some of the cooking at home! Help with meal planning, or make dinner a couple nights per week.

Math

Consumer Math

Children & Teenagers
Calculate: Read recipes and write a shopping list of appropriate quantities of the ingredients needed to make them. Calculate the cost of each meal by pricing ingredients, and calculate the total cost of the shopping list.

Children & Teenagers
Practice: Scale recipes up and down to practice addition, multiplication and division. 

Children & Teenagers
Watch: This one is highly adaptable for different ages and heavily leans into science as well. Learn about various units of measure and how they are used when cooking. Here is a Crash Course Kids video on units of measurement. Investigate how liquids and solids are measured for cooking, focusing on volume and weight. 

Early Math Skills & Geometry 

Toddlers & Children 
Play: Cut pieces of food (cheese, fruits and veggies, sandwich meat) into various shapes to introduce or work with shapes or geometry. Try to create pictures with the shapes. 

Science

Botany & Gardening

Children & Teenagers
Grow: Grow an edible plant, or even a garden. Research the  needs of what you’re planting, and carefully cultivate something to eat, as you cultivate an understanding how food is grown. Extend this into history and learn about how people kept “Victory Gardens” during times of war, and how early homesteaders fed themselves. If you’re enjoying this, extend it to learn about what was eaten by soldiers, and early people who sailed great distances, and so on.

Chemistry

Children & Teenagers
Experiment: Use your kitchen to experiment with chemistry, physics, and more while you cook! This list of kitchen demos and experiments will keep you having fun for a long time!

Children & Teenagers
Investigate: What impact does altitude have on cooking? Start your research here with Betty Crocker!

Children & Teenagers
Research: Learn about chemical reactions during cooking! We found a lot of great resources for this one! This book might be worth checking out, and there is also a free Chemistry of Cooking textbook here and this article, and this video

Children & Teenagers
Take a course: There are a number of great courses available for free through Coursera, on a variety of food related topics! Check it out

Biology & Human Body

Children & Teenagers
Investigate: Learn about food chains and/or how plants and animals are classified. What is your personal food chain? After learning how organisms are classified here, investigate the classification of foods you eat. 

Social Sciences

Geography

Children & Teenagers
Investigate: Where can food be grown when? The USDA breaks the country into zones, and has a list of what can grow when across the country. Check it out here

Children & Teenagers
Study: Study famous cuisine from around the world! Learn a couple iconic dishes from several places, or become an expert of the cuisine of a specific region. Discover what areas are famous for what foods. Consider filling in a map as you cook around the world! 

History

Children & Teenagers
Investigate: How have  people’s diets have changed over time, and why? What time periods, such as The Great Depression, and the Irish Potato Famine have had significant impacts on the way people eat in recent history? What did early humans eat at other times in history that interest you? 

Children & Teenagers
Investigate: Read about pioneers and pilgrims to determine what they ate and how they cooked while on the move. Here is a website with some information. 

Children & Teenagers
Research: Research the history of several foods, either your favorite, or common staples. You will be surprised what you find, including that pasta isn’t originally Italian! Have you heard the phrase “not worth a lick”? You’ll learn about the origins of that when you study food history, too! Here is a brief history of nine foods to enjoy. 

Children & Teenagers
Research: Learn about how people have harvested and preserved food in the past. This will tell you about what people ate on the Oregon Trail and this will give you some information about food preservation techniques. 

Languages

All Ages
Learn a language: Cooking provides a new context for learning the vocabulary of a new language. Take it a little further and follow a recipe written in another language. 

 

How else might important subject matter be learned from this interest topic? Comment below! Half-baked ideas are more than welcome, too.