What our culture has come to know as “kid-friendly” food is often just the opposite: Today’s kids are interested in much more than hot dogs and chicken fingers, and they can be highly capable, creative cooks—when we let them. As parents, we’ve found that most kids’ content doesn’t respect their intelligence and abilities when it comes to eating—and cooking.
Little Sous is changing the way kids learn how to cook by giving them a strong foundation in technique and improvisation, connecting them not only to what’s on their plates, but to themselves and the world around them. We’re also supporting parents by reframing the opportunities that exist at mealtime to help families maximize the valuable time they have to spend together—and to use the kitchen as a place to parent with purpose.
Earlier this year, we launched our media company with a website and newsletter for parents. Now, we’re unveiling the next stage in our business: The Little Sous Kitchen Academy, a culinary education box developed specifically for kids.
Through these monthly in-home boxes, kids will tap into their creativity and independence while developing their own tastes and food preferences. They’ll learn the hows and whys of cooking—not just how to measure and follow recipes. They’ll be introduced to new food cultures around the world—and in their own homes—by exploring heritage, language, and tradition.
And while doing and learning all of these things, we want kids (and their families) to have TONS OF FUN. Parents, we promise you this: Mistakes and messes will be made in your kitchens, but so will lasting memories, invaluable developments, and loving connections.
We’re incredibly excited to launch the Little Sous Kitchen Academy exclusively through Kickstarter. You can experience our first three boxes by backing this campaign; future monthly boxes will be sold directly from our website (mylittlesous.com) after the campaign is finished.
Our Kitchen Academy kits are an immersive culinary experience that the whole family can feel great about. They’re designed for kids aged 5 to 12, though there’s plenty for younger children to do, and adults will be surprised at how much they learn alongside their little ones. While kids will be able to do many of the activities independently, adult supervision and assistance is recommended, especially when sharp equipment and hot surfaces are involved.
Each box is designed around a theme and contains all of the following (be sure to check out our prototype gallery above to see more detailed images):
1) A step-by-step cooking lesson adapted from the Little Sous curriculum. From making ricotta cheese and chocolate from scratch to baking homemade bread (without a recipe!), all of our cooking lessons are developed by experienced culinary educators and designed to help kids build their independence and fundamental skills. Bold, easy-to-understand illustrations and tips guide kids and their parents through each themed lesson. Families can also visit our website to watch a video-based version of the lesson.
2) Collectable recipe cards developed around the theme. Our team has years of experience developing recipes that kids can accomplish with minimal adult assistance. Some recipes build upon the core cooking lesson (for example, turning homemade ricotta into a no-bake cheesecake), while others will teach kids about new techniques and ingredients. Each recipe card includes a photograph and tips for adult helpers.
3) Hands-on activities for the whole family that teach cooking techniques, food science, and help kids develop their food preferences and vocabulary while encouraging experimentation and exploration in the kitchen.
4) A two-sided, ready-to-color poster that includes interactive games, puzzles and other activities that beg kids to dive in and play while they learn about food cultures around the world. Each poster also includes an opportunity for kids to create and share their artwork to win a monthly prize.
5) A sheet of vinyl stickers inspired by the monthly theme. Kids will love using these funny food puns and playful characters to decorate their stuff.
6) A high-quality, kid-friendly kitchen tool, gadget, or non-perishable ingredient sourced from top culinary brands. Most of the kitchen tools designed for kids are no more useful than toys, so we’re committed to finding the best equipment for your Little Sous. From kid-safe cutlery to innovative gadgets and hard-to-find ingredients, our goal is to build a set of tools that give your Little Sous a sense of ownership over their very own cooking equipment. For example: Our inaugural box comes with an Oxo Wire Cheese Slicer (retail price: $15).
We want the entire family to be excited when they see the Little Sous box arrive, because both parents and kids know connection—and fun—is waiting inside.
Sold? Scroll down for a preview of our first three boxes.
Box 1: Cheese: The Grate Adventure Kids will make their own cheese and turn it into easy-cheesy recipes, both savory and sweet. Plus: discover cheeses from around the world, learn how to taste cheese, and create the ultimate cheese plate.
Box 2: Eat the Rainbow
Why are blueberries blue? Why do yellow foods make us hungry? This experiment-filled box answers these questions and shows kids how color affects flavor, food science, and nutrition. They'll also develop knife skills while making a vibrant salad.
Box 3: It’s Alive!
This box explores the microscopic worlds of living things in our food and our bodies. Kids will learn about probiotics and other healthy bacteria, sprout their own seeds, and use yeast to make their own focaccia bread.
We’re out to build a company that brings families together through food. Every month, we’ll be sending out innovative, engaging boxes that teach kids cooking basics, slowly building up both practical cooking knowledge and cultural awareness. We want to give kids fun, digestible ways to learn about new foods, places, and ideas—and we want the whole family in on the adventure.
The funds we raise here will cover production costs for our first three boxes and help us get started on future box development. We’re enlisting (and paying for) the help of many experts to create our content, including culinary instructors, recipe developers, writers, graphic designers, artists, and photographers. Plus we’re printing our materials on high-quality, mess-resistant card stock, to make our content as kid-proof as possible. And we’re committed to sourcing only the best kitchen tools and ingredients to include in our boxes.
We’ve already created the materials for our first three boxes and sourced some amazing tools from our brand partners. We’ve also planned out the next year’s worth of boxes, so we’re ready to get this project moving!
Kelly Montoya, CEO and Co-Founder
Nick Fauchald, Co-Founder
Nichol Nelson, Editorial Director
Christen Derr, Operations
Megan Krzmarzick, Social Media
Melissa Chowning and Lauren DeLozier, Marketing
Video by Michael Cogliantry
Design by Rotem Raffe
Photography by Noah Fecks, Kelly Montoya and Jolie Goodson
Risks and challenges
There are many moving parts and logistical challenges that come with creating innovative, original content; sourcing high-quality products from brands big and small; and packaging everything together to ship around the country. That said, Little Sous is staffed by folks who have decades of experience doing this kind of work, and we’re confident we’ll be able to deliver our boxes on time and with minimal problems.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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