Calling all future chefs ages 5 through 12, the Little and Blooming Chefs Academy wants you.

The Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department is offering a cooking session for children in December and January. Carly Ross, a chef instructor with five years of restaurant experience, conducts the classes.

“Ms. Ross started teaching adult cooking classes in 2011, but soon saw a need and interest in teaching the basics to children,” said Nichole Broemer, recreation and events coordinator.

The cooking classes are a perfect balance between fun and fundamentals for little beginners, Broemer said. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from parents, and their children get so excited that they want to cook at home,” she said.

The hands-on activities are easy to follow, and include kitchen safety, proper food handling and learning hand and eye coordination. Students may use a microwave but Ross supervises all stove-top cooking.

The December classes are from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 at the Harker Heights Activities Center kitchen.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for parents to drop off children at the class, and then do their holiday shopping,” Broemer said.

January’s cooking sessions will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 8-29.

December classes feature cooking ideas for the holidays, while the January classes focus on preparing breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts.

Ross uses her many years experiences as an elementary school teacher to reinforce students’ math and language skills. Children learn fractions and how to measure ingredients for recipes. A cooking vocabulary introduces them to new and proper cooking terms. Students also learn the importance of nutrition and making healthier food choices.

“Once children know the cooking basics, they can develop a love for cooking that hopefully will last their lifetime,” Broemer said.

Class fees are $50 per session and include all supplies. Children must bring their own aprons and wear closed-toe shoes. Class size is limited to 15 students. To register, call 254-953-5657.

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