Did you know that you can work on quite a few life skills for teens at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival? Cooking with middle schoolers is one of our favorites.
My family loves visiting Walt Disney World, so it’s no surprise that we attend this event many times while it’s here. I do what I can to make our visits educational, as well as a fun tasting experience.
Some life skills, like cooking, can’t be worked on while you’re at the festival, but you can use the inspiration of the festival to teach your children at home. All you need are some easy cooking recipes for teenagers.
If you want your kids to grow up to be independent adults, then you need to teach them how to cook. Sure, they won’t all become professional chefs, but they have to be able to feed themselves once they leave home.
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Some kids love to cook and will work beside you at every meal, eager to learn. But some need a bit more inspiration. That’s where the Food & Wine Festival comes in. Remember all of those wonderful dishes you tried as you were walking around the world?
Choose one that you loved and recreate it at home.
Even if you can’t make it here in person, you can still use this multi-cultural event as inspiration for some cooking lessons with your middle schooler by looking up the menus online. Choose one that looks delicious to make together.
Which recipe from Food & Wine do you want to taste again?
One food that we taste every year at the festival is Baklava, found at the Moroccan Marketplace. We love it so much that we finally decided to try our hand at making it.
Gathering the ingredients.
Learning how to work with Phyllo (fillo) Dough
Evenly coating the layers with nuts and butter
Adding the glaze
So many skills in one recipe!
Want to make Baklava with your teen? Here’s the Baklava recipe we used.
Choosing a dish based on a cooking technique you saw at Food & Wine
Sometimes, when I am working in the kitchen with my kids, there are specific cooking techniques I want to focus on, rather than a specific recipe. Using the festival again as my inspiration, I looked for recipes that incorporated techniques I wanted to teach.
This time I chose Beef Tenderloin with Cranberry-Red Wine Sauce, that Chef Ming Tsai made during a cooking demonstration at the festival. While in the kitchen, I focused on teaching them about cooking steaks. As we made the recipe together, the girls learned the technique of searing and why it is important to rest steaks.
Sure, cooking with kids isn’t always quick or easy, but I love creating memories with my girls by working together in the kitchen. They are always so proud of the dishes they help to create.
Both of my children have different interest levels when it comes to cooking, so I don’t push them. I work with them until they lose focus and then I give them permission to move on to something else. They still learn a lot while they’re in the kitchen. And as they’ve gotten older, they’re happy doing more and more.
Oh, and the meal we made — A-Ma-Zing! To quote Marianna, “It actually tastes like Baklava!” What could be better than that?
Get your Teens Cooking
- 10 Simple Breakfast Recipes Teens Will Want to Make
- Get your Middle School Kids Cooking
- How to Make a DIY Cookbook for Kids
What inspiration do you use to teach your kids how to cook?