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updated: 7/8/2011 1:12 PM

Kids can cook at Lake County YMCA's Little Chefs

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  • Riley Dean, 4, of Round Lake Beach makes chicken salad during the Lake County Family YMCA's Little Chefs program.

      Riley Dean, 4, of Round Lake Beach makes chicken salad during the Lake County Family YMCA's Little Chefs program.
    courtesy of lake county family YMCA

Lake County Family YMCA submission

Where can you find an active group of Little Chefs cooking up a storm each week?

The Lake County Family YMCA offers a hands-on learning environment in which children ages 3-5 are taught how to read recipes, measure, mix, cut and blend.

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"This program not only teaches life skills and experiences, it provides endless small-motor skills," said Angela Tossman, Lake County Family YMCA assistant director of Child Care. "They learn how to use math, science, and sensory skills plus make healthy choices all mixed into a fun activity. Our class is also an interactive way of exposing our students to foods they may not have eaten before."

Little Chefs emphasizes a safe and healthy environment in which to cook. The students make chicken salad sandwiches and potato salad, for example.

"I started Little Chefs here at the Y because I love my passion of working with children. I love the excitement of it. It is something unique that other programs don't offer. We talk about family traditions and how parents can get involved. The hands-on experiences are timeless," Tossman said.

The program runs for five weeks and is offered at the Lake County Family YMCA summer, spring, fall and winter sessions. The next session begins July 12.

The Little Chefs program is part of the Child Development Center that offers full and part-week classes available for six weeks through age 5.

The Child Development Center provides high-quality, fun experiences that inspire each child to grow to his or her fullest potential. For more information, contact Tossman at (847) 996-6324.

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