Panera Bread recently created a bakers-in-training program for kids aged 5-12.

CRESTVIEW — Panera Bread recently began a program that gives children a hands-on approach to baking.


The Bakers-In-Training program is a corporate program where children get a behind the scenes look at how Panera Bread is operated, with an emphasis on baking.


"We have them go through the process as if they were employees," said Crestview store shift supervisor Natasha Goodman.


Each class, which has to be scheduled three weeks in advance, must have a minimum of 10 children ranging in age from 5-12. The class costs $20 per child.


Each child is given a hat, apron and name tag. They begin the class by washing their hands before getting a tour of where everything is stored and seeing how different items, like bread dough, salads and sandwiches are made.


The children also see how the bakers make different pastries and get to sample some of the food found at the restaurant.


"We introduce ourselves and give them information about what they’re eating," Goodman said.


One of the most important parts of the class is when the children get to decorate their own cookies.


"The decoration of the cookies lets them explore and use their imagination," Goodman said. "They love it. They are so happy. Nine times out of 10 they don’t want to leave and they’re very appreciative."


According to Goodman, the class is great for birthday parties or group events such as cub scouts and girl scouts.


To book a class or learn more, visit http://bitkids.panerabread.com/?fbclid=IwAR21tFkyZ9dJ_uCjXeFok5F49sU1vSNvAkbBT_f77n-rSAs9zTnqtSPOiBI