Cooking is one of those essential life skills kids need before they move out on their own. If your child already loves being in the kitchen, this is easy to accomplish. But what if your teen isn’t showing much interest in learning how to cook?
You may have to get creative.
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Ideas for Getting your Young Teen into the Kitchen
Build Cooking Time around a School Lesson
History and geography are ideal subjects to add in some hands-on learning activities and there’s no reason why that can’t include cooking.
It’s amazing how interesting cooking becomes when it’s a part of school instead of just the process of making a meal. Another benefit of homeschooling!
This year we are studying American history and geography, so we’ve been using Eat Your Way Through the USA by Loree Pettit. It includes at least three recipes from each state. Read more about this helpful resource at Curriculum Choice.
Be their Sous Chef
While working in the kitchen, let your child be the boss. Have him give you tasks as you work through the recipes together.
By taking the lead, he’ll learn more about the cooking process than if you just told him what to do. Sure, there is a learning curve and mistakes will happen, but you’ll be right there to guide and educate.
Keep it Simple and Fun
If your child isn’t overly excited about learning how to cook, consider having her start with a simple recipe, something involving one or two techniques. That way she won’t get overwhelmed or bored. This isn’t the time for a dish that takes 60 minutes to prepare.
There are a ton of simple and delicious recipes on Pinterest, so it should be easy to choose some featuring her favorite foods. We’re always adding interesting tips and recipes to our Cooking with Kids Pinterest board, so make sure you’re following us.
If you’d rather use cookbooks to find your recipes, here are a few that are geared toward young teens:
- National Geographic Kids Cookbook: A Year-Round Fun Food Adventure by Barton Seaver
- The Star Wars Cook Book: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes by Robin Davis
- Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Megan Carle
- Williams-Sonoma The Kid’s Cookbook: A great book for kids who love to cook by Abigail J. Dodge
Eventually, kids will going to grow up and start a life of their own. If you’re able to teach them how to cook and perhaps even impart a joy about it while they’re teens, they will be one step closer to being self-sufficient.