ATK Kids

Kitchen Classroom: Week 14

Weekly kids’ cooking resources for at-home learning | America’s Test Kitchen Kids

Published June 12, 2020.

Welcome to week 14 of Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a daily schedule of kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, hands-on experiments, and activities paired with suggestions for how to bring learning to life in the kitchen. 

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In this week’s edition, kids can make a layered yogurt parfait for breakfast (and learn the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt), whip up a batch of smooth, creamy Hummus for snacking and to use in Veggie Wraps with Hummus—a perfect lunch for a summer day that kids can make themselves. Finally, the whole family will love feasting on Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches at the kitchen table, or the picnic table!

This Friday, June 19th, is Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, slavery still continued in many states. More than two years later, on June 19, 1865, a member of the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed some of the last slaves that they were freed. Juneteenth (a combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth”) marks that important day in United States history. Today, Juneteenth presents an opportunity to introduce kids to a piece of American history they might not be familiar with and to share with them how Black Americans celebrate—and remember—on this holiday. We compiled a few resources to help spark conversation and learning in your home:

  • The New York Public Library put together a list of Kids' Books to Celebrate Juneteenth and published an informative article for adults on the history of the holiday over the past two hundred years.
  • Mahogany Books curated a list of books about Juneteeth for children in elementary and middle school. 
  • Celebrating Juneteenth: The History Behind The Holiday from WBUR Boston and National Public Radio tells the history of the holiday and how families and communities celebrate in modern times. 
  • Teaching Juneteenth by Coshandra Dillard (Teaching Tolerance) breaks down the history and significance of Juneteenth and shares ways that educators can contextualize and effectively discuss the holiday with kids (and adults). 

Here’s what else is cooking for the week of June 15th through June 21st.  

Yogurt and Berry ParfaitsHummus
From left: Yogurt and Berry Parfaits, Hummus

Yogurt and Berry Parfaits

Creamy yogurt, fresh fruit, and crunchy granola make a delicious and wholesome breakfast or a great afternoon snack. Kids can layer their parfaits in tumblers (or fancy glasses!) to make this simple combination feel like a special occasion. Greek yogurt makes the creamiest parfait, but you can use regular yogurt instead (though, its thinner texture means the parfait layers won’t be as defined). If you use flavored or sweetened yogurt, skip the honey. 

What You’ll Need
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or sliced strawberries
½ cup granola

Learning Moment
Science (Chemistry): 
Yogurt is a breakfast staple—we eat it plain, in parfaits, blended into smoothies, and more. Today, nearly 50 percent of all the yogurt sold in the United States is Greek yogurt. What’s the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt? 

If you’ve got some plain yogurt and some Greek yogurt, let kids observe both varieties, stir them with a spoon, and take a taste. Ask kids: What do you notice about each type of yogurt? What’s its texture like? How about its flavor? 

Explain to kids that Greek yogurt is very popular in Greece, and this style of thick, creamy, tangy yogurt is eaten in many Mediterranean countries. Greek yogurt is made by straining regular yogurt—usually using cheesecloth (a soft woven fabric with lots of holes in it). Over time, liquid (called whey) drains out of the yogurt thanks to the pull of gravity. This makes Greek yogurt thicker and creamier than regular yogurt. Whey is made of water and proteins (called whey proteins)—not to worry, though, there are still plenty of proteins in the Greek yogurt that’s left behind. 

Have kids make their own Greek yogurt following this simple method:

  1. Line a fine-mesh strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth or 3 basket-style coffee filters. Set the strainer inside a bowl. 
  2. Add regular yogurt to the cheesecloth-lined strainer. Cover the strainer and bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Remove the strainer and bowl from the refrigerator. Transfer the Greek yogurt from the strainer to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  
  4. Conduct a taste test! As kids taste their creation (they can taste the whey, too!) ask them what they notice about it’s flavor and its texture. How is it different from regular yogurt? How is it the same? 

(Do not use yogurt containing modified food starch, gelatin, or ingredients called “gums” in this activity.)



This simple spread, made with canned chickpeas, comes together quickly in the food processor and is great for dipping pita chips and vegetables or spreading onto flatbreads or wraps. Young chefs can add flavorings or toppings to the hummus to make it their way: They might add a pinch of cayenne for a spicy kick, stir in some chopped fresh herbs, or top it with cooked ground meat or crumbled feta cheese. As they snack on their Hummus, kids can learn more about the main ingredients in some of our favorite foods, including Hummus, in our Food Origin Stories Quiz.

What You’ll Need
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice, squeezed from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Learning Moment
Science (Science Practices - Observation):
Hummus is made from ingredients that many people typically have in their pantries. One essential hummus ingredient—tahini—might be unfamiliar to kids. Ask kids if they have any ideas what tahini is made from? Explain that tahini is made from sesame seeds that are toasted and then ground into a smooth paste. 

After kids have made their hummus, try a tahini taste test. (If you have whole sesame seeds, sesame oil, or sesame seed butter at home, feel free to include one or more of those as well.)  

Have kids first smell each item, then taste it. As kids taste, ask them:

  • How would you describe the smell of each ingredient? Do any of them smell similar? How do they smell different?
  • How would you describe their flavors? Do any of them have similar flavors? How so? 

Finally, have kids take a taste of tahini and then a taste of hummus, which contains tahini. Can they taste the tahini flavor in the hummus? How are tahini and hummus similar? How are they different? 


Veggie Wraps with HummusPulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
From left: Veggie Wraps with Hummus, Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Veggie Wrap with Hummus

Buttery avocado, juicy cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, and baby spinach pack this quick and easy lunch with veggie goodness. A thick layer of creamy hummus (either homemade or store-bought) helps hold the veggies together once they’re rolled into a wrap. Young chefs can make one wrap for themselves, or easily double the recipe to share with a grown-up or sibling.

What You’ll Need
2 teaspoons extra-­virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice, squeezed from ½ lemon
Pinch salt
Pinch pepper
1 carrot
1 avocado
1 (11-by-8-inch) piece lavash bread
⅓ cup plain hummus
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup baby spinach

Learning Moment
Science (Biology):
This vegetable-packed recipe presents a perfect opportunity to review kids’ knowledge about the parts of plants (veggies come from plants, after all!). You can use the questions below to help guide your conversation:

  • Where do vegetables come from?
    (They grow on plants.)
  • What are the different parts of a plant? How many can you name?
    (Plants typically have roots, stem, leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruit. The roots absorb water and nutrients, and anchor the plant in the ground. The stem holds the plant upright, and delivers nutrients to the leaves. Leaves collect sunlight, which plants need to grow. Flowers make seeds and fruit. Fruits protect seeds by growing around them. Seeds are what new plants grow from.)

Then, challenge your young chef to identify what part of the plant each of the vegetables in this recipe come from. (If they need some clues, encourage them to look at the shape of each vegetable, and see if they can find any seeds.) 

  • Carrots are root vegetables. The part we commonly eat grows below the ground.
  • Avocados and Tomatoes are fruits (really!) because they contain seeds. (You can tell your young chef that the scientific definition of a fruit sometimes includes foods we typically consider a vegetable in the kitchen. We often refer to them as vegetables because we usually eat them in savory dishes.)
  • Baby spinach is the leaves of a spinach plant.

To learn more about the difference between fruits and vegetables, kids can take a fun, colorful Fruit or Vegetable? quiz


Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

In this recipe, kids will learn how to “pull” (or shred) chicken and toss it with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce for a flavor-packed lunch or dinner. Kids will learn about temperature and practice using a thermometer to make sure their chicken is perfectly cooked. To dress up these sandwiches, add pickle chips, coleslaw, lettuce, and/or sliced avocado!

What You’ll Need
½ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
¾ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 (8-­ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise

Learning Moment
Math (Measurement):
Share with kids that temperature is how hot or cold something is. Our bodies can feel when something is hot or cold (for example, you can feel a cold drink in a glass in your hand or warm air on your face when you go outside), but to measure exactly how hot or cold something is, you can use a tool called a thermometer. Most thermometers have a probe on one end (usually a skinny part with metal on the tip), and a way to read numbers on the other end (sometimes on a number line or dial, and sometimes on a digital display). Higher numbers mean something is hotter, and lower numbers mean something is colder. In the United States, the Fahrenheit scale is most often used to measure temperature, and in other parts of the world, the Celsius scale is used. Ask kids:

  • Can they think of times when they’ve used or seen a thermometer before? (In cooking, at the doctor’s office, when checking the weather outside?)
  • Do they know which temperature scale (Fahrenheit or Celsius) is used to measure temperature where they live?

Tell kids that temperature plays an important role in cooking. When you change the temperature of ingredients by adding or removing heat, you can transform them into new foods! In this recipe, heat is added to the chicken to cook it. Cold, raw chicken can make you sick if you eat it without cooking it first. You have to raise its temperature to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to make it safe to eat. Help kids to use a thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken in step 4. 

To learn more about temperature and to give kids an opportunity to practice using a thermometer, challenge them to measure the temperature of other items around the kitchen, such as:

  • Cold, warm, and hot running water from the faucet
  • Milk or juice straight from the refrigerator
  • Water with ice cubes in it
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt in the freezer

Just make sure to clean your thermometer probe in between each use—no one wants ice cream in their orange juice!


On sale until June 30, 2020, the July box of the Young Chefs’ Club is all about bringing science to life in the kitchen. Kids can use the power of science to make the smoothest, most flavorful nacho cheese sauce, a cake with layers that switch places in the oven, turn ordinary eggs into fluffy (edible) clouds, and transform just about any flavorful liquid into tiny, shiny spheres.  
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