Thyme for Kids - a family, food, and franchising blog
Thyme for Kids - a family, food, and franchising blog
Into food, family, or franchising? You're in the right place. The recipe for blogging here at YCA is to keep it simple, entertaining, educational, and to the point. We take one simple concept and give you our unique perspective.
From our franchisees, our students, or our corporate staff - if you hear it here, you know it's all us, all original and all fresh. We might tell you the story of a bright young chef who taught his instructor a few things, then next maybe the latest culinary trend (beef tongue sliders?). There is nothing ordinary about any of our franchises, and we delight in sharing the extraordinary "scoop"! Enjoy, comment, and please share.
2:00 PM

Hit the Road Energized with Healthy Snacks

Summer is the perfect time for a road trip – the kids are out of school, and the sun beckons us to the open road. While it can be tempting to stop along the way for burgers and fries, your health and budget will thank you for taking a little extra time to prepare healthy road trip snacks.

Try homemade granola bars - they’re totally customizable, clean and fun to eat, easy to accommodate if your kids have any allergies or aversions, and super quick to throw together before a trip.  Start with your grains – rolled oats, dry quinoa, puffed rice, flaxseed, millet, buckwheat and chia seeds are all good choices that are high in protein and filling – then toast them until aromatic and golden. Finely dice some dried fruit - kids love apricots, golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried mango and dehydrated strawberries. In a small pot, reduce apple or pomegranate juice to a syrup, mix with honey to thicken, plus a dash of vanilla and a pinch of sea salt and let cool. In a large bowl, stir together toasted grains, dried fruit and any other add-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, sunflower seeds or anything else you like) until fully combined. At this point, taste your mixture and adjust the seasoning. Using a large spatula, scrape the mixture into a parchment-lined pan and press down to flatten. Bake at 350F until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and chill – then cut into bars or squares.

8:00 AM

Cool Off with No-Heat Meals

In the heat of summer, the last thing anyone wants to do is turn on the stove. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an amazing, seasonal home-cooked meal – you can still eat well and stay cool!


One of my favorite ways to beat the heat is with Vietnamese-inspired spring rolls. Transparent rice wrappers are dipped in water to moisten, then filled with the vegetables and protein of your choice. For a no-heat option, try shredded purple cabbage, julienned carrots, fresh cilantro and mint leaves, small cubes of firm tofu and scallions. Make a quick dipping sauce of equal parts mirin, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar garnished with some sesame seeds, and you’ve got a delicious, healthy and effortless meal that your whole family will have a ball eating.

Your young chef can contribute by helping roll, or by practicing his or her knife skills preparing the fillings.  Here in Frisco, we’re always looking for meals that get the family involved and introduce unique flavors. We’d love to see your no-heat meals – visit our Facebook page here and show us your amazing creations!

This post was written by Nora Lerner, the owner of Young Chefs Academy of Frisco, Texas.

8:00 AM

Listen to Current Franchisees Talk About Why They Love Young Chefs Academy

Franchisee satisfaction is one of Young Chefs Academy's top priorities, and we take the happiness and fulfillment of our franchisees very seriously - when they're happy, we're happy. But what makes franchisees happy? A proven business model in a successful franchise system, experienced management/culinary arts/curriculum teams and a knowledgeable support team, among much more. In addition to operational support, all Young Chefs Academy franchisees receive ongoing marketing and public relations support.


Another important ingredient to the Young Chefs Academy “recipe” for success is direct community involvement. Our franchisees love being out and about in their towns and cities, enriching the lives of children of all ages through culinary instruction and creative innovation.

But don’t take it from us. Karen and Chris Chesleigh, the owners of Young Chefs Academy of Forest Hills in New York, have this to say about their time with the brand.

“Franchising with Young Chefs Academy has given us the opportunity to be a game changer in many children’s lives. Josh Reisner, one of our long time young chefs, was a contestant on the second season of MasterChef Jr!  Another student of ours, Kaitlyn Nidhan, had a lifelong dream to cook with Mario Batali on The Chew. Through our academy, we were able to make it happen.”

For more information on Young Chefs Academy, its curriculum innovations and franchising opportunities, visit

10:33 AM

Summer’s Bounty Is Yours to Discover at the Farmer’s Market

We are very excited to be making a guest appearance on the Young Chefs Academy blog, and we couldn’t be happier to be writing about a topic we can relate to closely.

As franchisees with the Young Chefs Academy brand here in Forest Hills, New York, we understand the important role that food plays in the lives of the members of our community. After all, we aim to make an impact in the well being of our students and their families by teaching about food preparation and the cultural, even historic, backgrounds of the dishes we prepare.

This time of year as the heat is dialed up and the beautiful weather rolls in, many of our favorite foods are in their peak season. We often find the best produce at farmers markets - not only is the food often better quality, but it’s grown and distributed locally, which means our carbon footprint is smaller and we’re able to help other community businesses like our own.

Farmers Market

This summer, take advantage of your creative side and take a (reusable!) bag to the farmers market to see which of the earth’s treasures await you! In June, you can expect to see mushrooms, berries, beautiful greens such as kale, chard, collards, frisee, spinach, endive and various lettuces, as well as the tail end of fresh asparagus and rhubarb. We love sharing our farmers market finds with our own kids, and the young chefs we work with every day – being able to see a child appreciate a fresh tomato, straight from the earth, reinforces why we love working with kids and food at Young Chefs Academy!

Find something that looks amazing and discover what you can make with it, be it a pie, a salad or something else your imagination has just cooked up, and share it with us on our Facebook page – we’d love to see your delicious finds!

Forest Hills-Small_copy

This post was written by Karen (pictured above) and Chris Chesleigh, owners of Young Chefs Academy in Forest Hills, New York.

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