by: Mary Segers

Kids Can Cook!

Mary Segers Kids Can Cook
Mary Segers Kids Can Cook

I should know… I’ve had 4 of them. Kids can cook from an early age, too. Not only CAN kids cook but they can enjoy it AND be quite good at it. Since kids have a natural desire to help this is a perfect way for that need to be met.

Kids Can Cook… Even If Neither of You Know it Yet

My older son, Steven Wayne, was in charge of homemade vegetable soup. That came about because one day when he was… oh, around 12 or so… he came in the kitchen while I was cooking and… as always… I wanted an extra taste tester (at the time I was a heavy smoker with not the greatest taste buds). He said it needed more garlic powder (or onion or Italian seasoning) and he went to grabbing seasonings, shaking, stirring, and testing. I think both he and I were immediately hooked because from then on he was in charge of making the soup. He really took off from there and when he was in High School he came home and told me that him cooking had really impressed a girl. He said she’d asked about a spot on his shoe and he said that he’d been cooking some bacon and eggs and the grease had spilled. Surprised, she said “You can cook”? He just said “Of course.” Grinning from ear to ear he related how impressed she’d been.

Kids Can Cook When They Are Interested in Learning

Kids Can Cook Ramen Noodles
Kids Can Cook Ramen Noodles

When we lived in the foothills of North Carolina I worked about 2 1/2 hours round trip from where we lived. Because of that, I’d get home a little late some evenings. One day when my daughter, Nyk, was 9 years-old I came home to an already cooked meal… Ramen Noodles. How cool was that. She took it upon herself to fix dinner for the four of us and you know what? It was GOOD. From then on, she took a more active role in learning and I took a more active role in teaching. Don’t get me wrong… she wasn’t in the kitchen every night. Probably not every week.

Proof Kids Can Cook Mary Segers
Proof Kids Can Cook Mary Segers

But the learning process had begun. Within 4 years she was fixing complete meals such as meatloaf, home made mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts. I’d try to buy those fake mashed potatoes (boxed) but she’d wrinkle her nose at the box while she was peeling potatoes. (Note: we no longer peel we just eat skins and all). Was it work to teach her? Sure! Did it take time? Sure! Was it worth it? Uh, Sure! If I hadn’t spent those years teaching her then she wouldn’t have been able to cook those full course meals at the age of 13. I’ve known parents of 13 year-olds that were STILL groaning and whining and putting off the training while I was having my kids’ help.

Kids Can Cook When (Even Inadvertently) Put on the Spot

My 3rd child, Jos, learned to cook in a pretty unusual way. I was stuck on a job one evening and just couldn’t leave. So I called him and told him he needed to get dinner started. I walked him through step-by-step what to do. I’ll never forget, for the main dish we were having skillet sausage sauteed and simmered with spaghetti sauce. Not too difficult, right? It was funny because when I got home I found his notes where he’d written down word for word my directions right down to the most minute details. Now he loves cooking, does it for a living, and is considering attending culinary school.

Kids Can Cook When It’s One of Their Responsibilities

My younger daughter, Harm, is the only one I’ve kind of had to force to take on some of the cooking. My philosophy is that I’m teaching her to be an adult and part of being an adult is knowing how to cook. So, we’re still working on her. Her “specialty” was burritos. She began with them in the microwave (when we still used one). She graduated to the oven (a big step if you think about it), then to a full-fledged casserole complete with cheese and sauce. That’s pretty much as far as she’s gotten. She has in the last week expressed more of an interest though. The thing is, I don’t really NEED her to help out with the cooking like I needed the older ones to. So that’s why we’ve kind of stalled on her training. Nevertheless, she’ll catch up and be an excellent cook just like the rest of them. If you’d like to learn more about this subject then feel free to download my

free 58 page eBook on

Home Time Management and Cooking

You’ll get plenty of ideas to implement and help you make time for yourself. This is the ninth post in my “Home Time Management and Cooking” series. So… what will your kids’ first meals be? Just hit “Reply” and let me know. Go back to the “Home Time Management and Cooking” series.

To Your Success…
Mary Segers B.S., MSW Your Home Time Management Expert, Coach, and Speaker
Helping You Reach Your Home Time Management Goals
… One Step at a Time
One-on-One Consulting with Mary Segers

Image (of soup) courtesy of rakratchada torsap /
Image (of Chicken) courtesy of Grant Cochrane /
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