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Get creative: Little Kitchen Academy

Get creative: Little Kitchen Academy

WORDS BY Marylene Vestergom

Teaching kids how to cook is an essential life skill that often gets overlooked. In today’s world, where fast food and pre-packaged meals are prevalent, knowing how to cook can benefit children of all ages. Unfortunately, many kids today may miss out on this skill due to spending their free time playing games or watching videos instead of engaging in hands-on learning. While technology has its benefits, so does knowing how to boil an egg, how to properly use a knife, and understanding healthy food choices.

Research has shown that children who learn to cook are more likely to make healthier food choices and better understand nutrition. So, while electronic gadgets may have their place in our lives, we mustn’t let them overshadow the joys and benefits of learning to cook. Besides, children need to know they don’t need to rely on DoorDash or Uber Eats for their next meal.
Fear not, for the Little Kitchen Academy (LKA), under the watchful eye of Linsay and Blake Moran in High Park, has arrived to save the day.

Through its Montessori-inspired approach, LKA aims to reverse the decline in culinary proficiency, ensuring that children can confidently navigate the kitchen as they grow up.
“We are a first-of-its-kind Montessori-inspired cooking academy for kids ages three to eighteen focused on providing a safe, inspiring, and empowering space for children to identify, develop, and refine their senses,” says Linsay Moran, franchise owner at LKA High Park.
LKA is a place where children can learn the basics of cooking with confidence and curiosity. To help set the stage, each child dons a chef’s jacket like their instructors. So, let’s get cooking LKA style!

What can the kids expect?

When the students explore their station, the first thing they notice, instead of finding little kid tools like the ones they might have in their play kitchen at home, is filled with the actual kitchen tools their parents and grandparents use.

What’s the make-up of the class?

“We have an amazing team of instructors from various backgrounds, including dieticians and holistic nutritionists, who share one thing: they’re all passionate about helping children learn these skills. At LKA, we have a maximum of ten children per class. For younger children, we maintain three instructors for every ten children. Safety is a top priority, especially when using kitchen tools. We provide child-safe wooden knives for our youngest students to develop their knife skills correctly.”

The Montessori approach to practical life skills shines at LKA. Math can be challenging to grasp. LKA uses visual measuring cups shaped into their fractional amounts. These award-winning tools by Welcome Industries make the world of fractions come to life.

What’s the reaction from parents?

“We’ve heard many amusing stories about our students being in the kitchen and correcting their parents on their knife grip and safety. Recently, a mother shared a lovely experience about baking with her young son, who showed her how to compress the measuring spoon against the inside of the bag to level it. These children are learning useful skills and gaining confidence in their abilities.”

The reward?

Each three-hour class has the students work through a recipe developed to suit their abilities and age. The instructors help the children use their tools but provide the independence needed so they can explore and invent; but don’t worry, instructors are always there when needed and when safety is a concern.

To learn more about LKA and programs – see