TROY — Children put their culinary skills to the test during “Miami County Junior Chefs,” a special day camp event presented by the Ohio State University Extension office at the Miami County Fairgrounds on Tuesday.
The children’s cooking camp was offered in two sessions at the fairgrounds for kids ages 6-12, with the number of sessions expanding after registration exceeded expectations.
“We had openings for 60 kids,” said Alisha Barton, family consumer science educator with OSU Extension. “We had such a long wait list, we expanded it to 100. 101 signed up. I think there is quite the interest in our county for cooking and summer camps. We’re really excited about the response.”
At each session, children were divided into groups and rotated through five stations, each teaching kids a different cooking skill through hands-on activities.
Activities included cooking demonstrations of dishes like breakfast burritos and salad-on-a-stick, food science activities, introductions to basic culinary equipment and cooking skills, and smoothie-making using an exercise bike, which was donated on a grant from the Miami County Foundation.
Participants received a bag of recipes and cooking essentials to take home.
“We’re introducing new foods to kids, encouraging new ways to add fruits and vegetables to their diet, and starting them on some basic skills to help them in being passionate about cooking,” Barton said. “We want them to be able to get into the kitchen, start exploring, and try new things, and hopefully this will provide them some of the tools to do that.”
Based upon the positive reception to the program, which debuted this year, Barton indicated that “Junior Chefs” could be expanded for a return in 2019.
“We’re talking next year about expanding the program,” Barton said. “We’d love to offer a senior camp with more advanced skills. We’re just waiting to hear the response from kids and their parents.”
For more information, visit www.miami.osu.edu, or find Ohio State University Extension Miami County on Facebook.