It’s Not Hard to Teach Kids to Cook
As a matter of fact, it was always harder to keep mine OUT of the kitchen. They love to talk, help wash vegetables, chop ’em, and stir stuff. Of course, you gotta use common sense and not have a 3 year-old using a knife or a 4 year-old stirring something hot.
Other than that, kids can be very helpful in the kitchen.
Here’s the thing… kids are going to have to learn to cook. Instead of them waiting until they’re out on their own, why NOT have them do it now when it would help you out with home time management at the same time.
It was so great… such a load off my mind… when I knew one of the kids was cooking. Besides, they all turned out to be great cooks (I’m still working with the last teen, though).
I’m telling you, if you don’t teach kids to cook now you’ll hate yourself later when they’re showing up on your doorstep every night for dinner even after they’ve moved out… oh, and bringing their roommates with them. Or, when you’re having to pay the pizza delivery guy hundreds of dollars each month when that kid is in college.
How to Teach Kids to Cook
Give kids the leeway and the support to go through the stages of learning to cook. Right off the top of my head there are really only 3… I guess you could call them “Stages”… that I can think of that my kids went through.
Let them chose a single thing to start with
… and let them cook that several times until they felt more comfortable with the whole process of cooking. Have them choose something they really like to eat. My older daughter started with ramen noodles when she was 9 years-old. My younger daughter’s “specialty” was burritos. She evolved from simply sticking them in the microwave to putting them in the oven (a big step for someone learning to cook), to making a casserole out of them complete with cheese and salsa.
The point was that she was growing and evolving. Yours may start with hot dogs. That’s okay… as long as they start.
Soon, they decide to live a little larger.
It may take a year or longer, but eventually they’ll grab a cookbook and decide they want to make something a little more involved. For this stage you’ll need to be just as much on hand for help and guidance and questions… like my sister asking if she needed to put the “yield” in when making grits for the 1st time.
In this stage they spread their wings and will take on more responsibility for cooking… even if it IS grudgingly.
In time, they can be responsible for certain meals
This can be worked around their school and dating schedule. It will allow you much more flexibility in your life or at least give you a night off occasionally.
Why you’d hate yourself later if you don’t teach kids to cook now
There are a few reasons I can think of:
- It would be one of those things you’d look back and see how much time you’d wasted
- You would miss out on a lot of quality time with your child cooking together
- It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your kids to be self sufficient and part of that is being able to cook
- By passing on some of the responsibility you could have lessened your own load
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This is the eighth post in my “Home Time Management and Cooking” series.
So… what’s the first thing you’re going to do to teach kids to cook?
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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
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