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Cooking with the family

These days, cooking segments and shows are everywhere. From TV to magazines, cooking is something many people wish they could do well and hope that their children can learn as one of the main skills they need to survive as an adult.

On Tuesday, Jan. 13, the New Richmond Area Centre will give families the chance to learn simple and healthy cooking techniques and recipes they can use to cook at home with their children.

“The class is just a nice option for a family to come in together and do something with each other where they are working side-by-side with each other,” Youth, Teen and Family Manager Larissa Ruud said.

The classes go from 5:50-6:20 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 13 to Feb. 17 and cost $16 for the first child and $5 for each additional child (for Centre members), while the cost for non-members is $49 and $5 for an additional child.

“This will be the fourth or so time we have run this sixweek class,” said Ruud. “It is a class that runs for a half hour on Tuesday nights and it is designed for the whole family.”

Children of any age can participate, Ruud said, but only children 3 and up are allowed to help cook with their parents or family members.

“The recipes we teach are pretty simple and kid friendly,” Ruud said. “There are different kinds of recipes, from wraps to desserts.”

The cooking classes will be taught by Centre Youth Development Coordinator Julie Griepentrog.

“I’m not sure exactly what new things they will be doing this year or which things they will be bringing back that they have made before,” Ruud said. “But I know that one of the last times we had the kids make their own salad dressings, as well as their own salads, from different types of oils and vinegars and such.”

The class also teaches families how to make a variety of healthy snack items.

“We try to keep it healthy as much as we can,” Ruud said. “Of course, some of the desserts aren’t super healthy, but we at least try to throw in healthy aspects into the desserts, like fresh fruit.”

One of the things that Ruud likes about the Family Cooking Fun classes is that they are not just for children or just for adults.

“Most of our classes are designed just for the kids or the adults, so this is kind of a nice change of pace from that where the whole family can participate together,” Ruud said.

For Centre Marketing and Communications Manager Colleen Davis, the Family Cooking Fun classes are a good place for her son to learn about cooking in a positive atmosphere.

“As a parent, it is nice to expose my 7-year-old son to cooking that is traditionally a female role,” said Davis. “Not only is it a life skill that he will need later in life, but it puts him in a positive environment where he can learn about it.”

Although Davis does cook with her son at home, she and Ruud know that not all parents take the time to expose their children to cooking.

“What we have heard from parents is that they would never even give their kids a plastic knife to cut things,” Ruud said. “So some kids just haven’t had the chance before to cut up their own veggies or their own fruits. It exposes the kids to some new things.”

The class usually brings in four to five families that sign up with a couple family members a piece. Depending on the number of families who sign up, Ruud said the venue for the class will change based on how much space they need to cook.

“Last year, I think we had the class in our pre-school room since there is a sink in there for the kids to wash their hands,” Ruud said. “But if need be, we can move the class to a bigger room. We can be flexible with the number of participants. The more the merrier.”

For more information, contact Julie Griepentrog at 715-246-2252 or .

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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