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New class teaches kids to cook

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By Tris DeRoma

The four young girls in Kelly Parker’s cooking class spent a good half hour learning from their expert instructor how to make a perfect, healthy banana smoothie, and now they were ready to taste the results. 

As they sidled up to the kitchen counter, to take a sip of their homemade creation, Parker was excited also to see what they thought. 

Her students, all young girls between five and 10 years old, were part of Parker’s test class for Parker’s new cooking school, Little Sprouts Kitchen. 

After retiring from the lab as an illustrator, Parker traveled the world for a bit before settling on a way to fill her time that also helped her community. 

Parker said she always loved the art of cooking and preparing food and thought how good it would be to introduce children to the world of cooking. 

Cooking has always been a love of Parker’s. She helped create Ruby K’s Bagel Café, and she also has a cooking club called the Spice Girls.

After partnering with Healthy Hands and becoming a certified food instructor, through the company’s course work, Parker was ready to go. 

The aim of Little Sprouts is to not only introduce kids from 5 to 13 years old to the world of cooking.

“I’m kind of a foodie, I like to cook,” Parker said, adding that she will be teaching kids about healthy eating.

“The childhood obesity rate has gone up like crazy in the last several years, so I was trying to think of something that would curve that a little bit,” Parker said. 

Most of her classes will be taught at the Los Alamos Co-op for the time being.  The price of the classes includes ingredients used to make the food and the reading materials that go along with the class.

“They also take home the recipes and the nutritional information that we use,” Parker said. 

Just like a chef working on a new recipe, Park is happy she’s added the right amount of fun and education to her new venture.

“I’m hoping they’ll get excited about learning a new skill,” Parker said. 

She also will teach kids about eating healthy.

“It’s also about empowering them to be a little smart about what they’re putting into their bodies. If they start early enough, maybe this will be something that sticks with them when they get older,” Parker said.

The smoothies turned out great, and according to one of the students, Adi, the class was great also. 

“We thought it was fun…I feel like I’m older,” Adi said.