Simple Ideas for Cooking with Middle Schoolers

It’s not always easy cooking with middle schoolers. However, cooking is one of those essential life skills for teens that they 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.

Tween girl cutting an onion on a cutting board while her mom and brother make something on the stove.

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Ways to Start Cooking with Middle Schoolers

Here are some fun ideas you can use to get your kids 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.

Over the years, we’ve learned about other cultures through geography dinners and cooked recipes from specific time periods, like these Native American corn recipes. We’ve even baked chocolate chip cookies while studying famous inventors.

It’s amazing how interesting cooking becomes when it’s a part of school instead of just 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.

Get your Middle School Kids Cooking @Education Possible

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. Find 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.

One of my daughter’s favorites was this simple Lemon Blueberry Bread. We made it after we went blueberry picking and it was an instant hit!

I'm always on the lookout for simple recipes that teenagers would like. This lemon blueberry bread recipe is easy to make and it's so delicious!

There are a ton of simple and delicious recipes on Pinterest, so it should be easy to choose some featuring her favorite foods. I’m frequently adding interesting tips and recipes to my Cooking with Kids Pinterest board, so make sure you’re following.

If you’d rather use cookbooks to find your recipes, here are a few that are geared toward young teens:

Teaching Kids Life Skills: Get your Middle School Kids Cooking

Here are a few more easy ideas for teaching middle schoolers how to cook.

Eventually, kids will 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.

What works for you when you’re cooking with middle schoolers?

Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my older children.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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  1. Getting the kids in the kitchen is a great way to teach life skills and enjoy time together!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  2. My kids have each had a night to cook dinner for the past year or so; they get to plan the meal and I guide them through it step by step (if needed). They have become quite the chefs and often make breakfast or lunch now too.

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