Little Chef Program
Our goal is to feed the world better – now and for generations to come. And what better way to do that than to pass along food knowledge to our kids? That’s why we started our “Little Chef” program over five years ago, with the intention of helping educate and inspire our next generation of foodies, while providing ideas for us all to have fun preparing, cooking, and eating together.
The Little Potato Company’s Co-founder and CEO, Angela Santiago, is not only a passionate expert on Creamer potatoes, she’s also a passionate believer that Little Potatoes can help people eat better and—as a Mom herself—help children learn about food and cooking.
It is recommended that kids eat four to six servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and our Creamer potatoes are a delicious way to eat vegetables. They are a good source of potassium, Vitamin C, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and other vitamins and minerals, including iron. Learn more about Creamer potatoes’ nutritional information.
Little Chef Approved Recipes
We’ve curated kitchen tips for you and your Little Chefs to help you enjoy cooking together. So we have a Little Chef Approved collection of kid-friendly recipes:
- Quick prep time – under 15 minutes!
- Fewer ingredients – ones you might already have in your fridge or pantry!
- Kid-friendly ingredients – ingredients they are often familiar with
- Teaching basic cooking skills
- Having fun together more
- Nutrition – this includes our Creamer potatoes which are a vegetable, other vegetables, and more nutritious foods
These recipes are stamped with our Little Chef Approved pan to help quickly identify kid-friendly recipes. To find these recipes, visit our Recipe Center and select Kid-Friendly.
Why cook with kids?
Cooking is educational and fun! Show your Little Chefs that healthy, foods and meals can be planned, prepared and served in a limited time, and that it’s fun and rewarding. If your kids get cooking now, chances are they will continue this good habit as they grow older – it’s a life skill to learn early on.
Share family traditions and stories or recipes while you cook with your Little Chefs. Begin with simple and fun recipes, then work up to your family favorites, such as Grandma’s famous potato salad (at the Little Potato Company we’re a fan of this potato salad recipe), or, invite them to create their own recipe to share with the entire family.
Cooking with 5-7 Year Olds
Kids at this age are interested in grown-up activities but may show signs of being picky eaters. Cooking with them can help them warm up to the idea of trying new foods. Try letting them:
- Use simple kitchen equipment such as a grater, toaster, blender switches or can-opener after you show them how to do so safely
- Stir ingredients together (like sauces or dressings, or toss together salad ingredients)
- Slice soft-cooked vegetables, soft fruit, cheese or tofu with a plastic or child-safe knife
- Cook with a friend for a fun play date
Try making our Thin Crust Bacon Potato Pizza – kids can help place the pre-cut ingredient toppings and choose their favorites.
Cooking with 8-10 Year Olds
At this age, kids can follow simple steps for recipes. Try letting your kids:
- Use the microwave, with your help
- Stir dishes on the stove to prevent sticking
- Add some of their favorite healthy ingredients (e.g. fruits, vegetables, seeds or nuts) to a dish, such as a salad
- Help select what recipe you’ll make together
- Write out a grocery list
Try our Spicy Mashed Potato Balls—they are delicious! Kids can help to mix the eggs and breadcrumbs and coat the potatoes.
Cooking with 11-13 Year Olds
Kids at this age understand how to use appliances safely and are usually more adventurous in trying new flavors and textures. They can:
- Use the stove on their own to make basic recipes: omelets, frittatas, pancakes, quesadillas, soups or grilled sandwiches
- Decide what healthy meal they would like to prepare and write a shopping list of ingredients
- Depending on their level of experience, improvise and substitute ingredients in a recipe
- Choose what is needed to balance out a meal so it has food from each food group, based on the Canada Food Guide
Try making our Pommes Anna, using our Blushing Belles for a fun, elevated appetizer to mix up your menu.
7 tips to make cooking with kids fun and safe:
- Be safe. Teach kids how to use sharp tools safely, the dangers of hot stoves and ovens and always watch them.
- Be clean. Teach your kids why, how and when to wash their hands and kitchen surfaces thoroughly to ensure a truly healthy experience.
- Keep it simple. Choose recipes that are appropriate for kids. Like the ones above, or search Kid-Friendly in our Recipe Center
- Don’t rush. Allow a little more time than you would normally.
- Be creative. Allow kids to pick a new vegetable. Try cutting them into interesting shapes or use colorful foods like our Something Blue Creamers.
- Show them. Demonstrate how and then step back, so they learn by doing. If they’re struggling, ask if they want help.
- Think like a kid. Create a kid-friendly kitchen so kids can work more easily. Add a sturdy stool to stand on or a drawer with utensils just for them.
Meet Our Little Chef Friends!
We partner with lots of different types of experts who are as passionate about Little potatoes as we are, and who better to share what kind of recipes to make with kids than directly from kids themselves! Meet Little Chefs Arnav and Owen, the top two Little Chefs from one of our past Little Chef competitions.
Little Chef Arnav
Little Chef Arnav was the winner of our 2016 Little Chef competition. Now age 13 and in Grade 8, and from Ontario, Canada, he still enjoys cooking in the kitchen as one of his many hobbies! Read more about him and discover what recipes he has made with Little potatoes.
Little Chef Owen
Little Chef Owen was the runner-up in our 2016 Little Chef competition. From Alberta, Canada, Little Chef Owen has been passionate about cooking for a long time and continues to create meals for his family all the time. Find out more about Owen and his kitchen tips and recipes.