Help Your Teen Develop Cooking Skills
Cooking is a great life skill for anyone and the teenage years is a great time to learn. Learning to cook has many benefits for teenagers. Cooking helps teens to eat healthier and choose a wider variety of foods.
Teens are prone to be picky eaters and tend to gravitate toward unhealthy junk foods. By cooking their own food, they will be encouraged to eat what they have made. Developing new skills also builds confidence in teens.
Talk with your teen about the importance of cooking. Ask him what he might like to learn how to cook. Watch cooking shows together – especially ones with competitive elements – to get your teen excited about learning to cook. Check out some cookbooks for teens from the library and look through them with your kid. Help your kid to see that cooking can be a fun and creative process.
In the Kitchen
Start by going over all of the necessary tools and equipment. Discuss different tools and how each is used. A quick safety lesson is also key. Don’t assume your teen knows how to be safe in the kitchen, even if he has cooked before. Set clear expectations for how kitchen equipment is to be used, maintained, and cleaned.
Choosing the First Dish
The key here is to start simple. Choose some basics and staples that everyone should know how to cook. Start with simple dishes like spaghetti with meat sauce, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or chicken teriyaki with rice.
Don’t forget breakfast! Knowing how to make eggs, bacon, and pancakes is an essential. Go over each step of the process with your teen. Teach him how to use a knife, how to peel vegetables, and how to use spices. Don’t expect everything to turn out perfectly the first time. Cooking takes a lot of practice.
Make it Fun
Once your teen has the basics of cooking down, it’s time to get creative. Find new recipes to try out, recreate some of your favorite dishes at restaurants you like, or even develop your own dish. Encourage your teen to try new ingredients and flavors. Don’t be afraid of mistakes or a little mess – that’s what makes cooking fun!
Use this time in the kitchen to connect with your teen. Put on some fun music or have a conversation while you cook. Make it exciting and not only will your kid come out of the lesson with some cooking skills, but with some great memories as well!