How To Teach Your Teen To Cook Easy Meals

There are several easy meals that you and your teen can practice cooking together, and once he's learned how to cook on his own, he may offer to do more of the cooking!

Teaching your teen to cook can help him feel more independent, and it can get him ready to live on his own once he moves away to work or goes to college. There are several easy meals that you and your teen can practice cooking together, and once he's learned how to cook on his own, he may offer to do more of the cooking!

Before you begin actually teaching your teen how to cook, she should first become familiar with the kitchen. She can do this by helping you begin to prepare meals. Give her a list of items that you will need, and tell her where to find them. She should become so familiar with the kitchen and the pantry that she can eventually cook something on her own without asking you for any help.

Your teen also needs to know how to shop for grocery items. Although he might have gone with you to the grocery store countless times, it is likely that he never paid attention to where certain items are located. He also may not know how to comparison shop for the best value. You can help him learn to do this by giving him a specific list and having him look for the items on that list without your help. Once he has become more familiar with the grocery store, he should be more at ease in the kitchen.

You should begin teaching your teen to cook simple meals, such as baked potatoes and salad or macaroni and cheese. As she becomes more familiar with using the stove, oven, and the kitchen in general, she can progress to more difficult meals.

Don't automatically assume that your teen knows how to be safe in the kitchen. You should show her where the fire extinguisher is located and tell her how to use it. You should also give her instructions about the dangers in the kitchen, such as grease fires. Be sure she understands that she should never put water on a grease fire, and if she can't use the fire extinguisher, she can use baking soda to douse a grease fire. She should never use flour to try and put out the fire, however, because the flour will also ignite. You should also caution her about putting her hand or arm over hot steam, as this can result in a painful burn.

Once your teen has learned how to make simple dishes, such as baked potatoes and macaroni and cheese, you can move onto spaghetti and meatballs, simple soups, and chili. As he becomes more confident, give him a few casseroles to choose from, and let him follow the directions with little, if any, help from you. Don't just stick to dinner, however. Your teen can easily learn how to make bacon, sausage, and scrambled or fried eggs.

Many teenagers enjoy baking. Your child might want to begin with an easy recipe straight from a mix. Once she's enjoyed the fruits of her labor, she may be more interested in making more difficult recipes. You should try to keep a variety of ingredients on hand, in case your child gets the urge to suddenly make something yummy!

Once your teen has become an accomplished chef, invite him to create a full course meal for the entire family. You can make it a festive affair by dressing up, using the good china and silverware, adding tablecloths and napkins, and lighting candles. Be sure you praise his efforts. Before you know it, you may not have to do much of the cooking at all!

© High Speed Ventures 2011