Teenage Kicks In The Kitchen?

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Whether you work late, have a challenge maneuvering after-school clubs, or simply fancy one night a week where you don’t have to slave in the kitchen; letting your teen take over the helm can be a fantastic way to make this happen. Not only will this one-night routine teach them the fundamentals of cooking, but it will also instill responsibility and the importance of helping out.

The trouble is that, as any teen mamma will already know, getting a teenager into the kitchen can seem about as likely as getting them up before sundown on the weekends. AKA, not likely at all! While it couldn’t be easier to get a toddler excited about cooking, our teens don’t share that same enthusiasm. But, that doesn’t mean your dreams of one night off a week need to be dashed. 

In reality, this is a point worth pushing, and letting your teen know they’ll be cooking one night a week rather than asking them is the first step towards success. Next, follow these simple pointers to make the task at least a little more appealing. 

Teach them all the basics

teens and cooking

Image by Brandless: CC0 License

There are few things teens dislike more than not being able to do something. One failure could, therefore, see them refusing to set foot in the kitchen again. By comparison, even successes they didn’t know they needed will bolster them into cooking with a lot less reluctance. As such, you should start here by teaching them the basics. As mentioned, getting a teen into the kitchen won’t be easy, but talking them through essentials like boiling rice, making pastry, and achieving a lump-free roux can all set them up for solo cooking that doesn’t leave them storming from the room in despair.

Introduce them to recipes they can engage with

Teens typically associate books with boring stuff, so a recipe book is unlikely to go down well. Instead, seek recipe sources that you know they’ll engage with. YouTube is a prime example here and provides step-by-step recipe videos that pretty much guarantee results. Equally, recipe blogs like The Mediterranean Dish are far more liable to catch their attention than the written word. Even better, there are plenty of options like this out there. Simply do your research and ensure your teen knows where to look.

iPad recipe kitchen

Image by Jeff Sheldon: CC0 License

Stock ingredients according to their decisions

Getting a teen into the kitchen regularly is akin to a miracle, but don’t stretch this. Asking them to stock their own ingredients is never going to happen. Instead, focus on encouragement of the cooking itself by including their ingredient list in your shopping. This way, your teen will be able to slip into the kitchen without having to plan, making them far less likely to flake on your arrangement. 

Even if you feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle the first few times you get your teen into the kitchen, don’t stress. After a few successes, you might just find they start cooking up a storm without your once needing to prompt them.

17 thoughts on “Teenage Kicks In The Kitchen?

    1. Shannon, My mom taught me to cook. Farm cookin’ meat n taters kind of cookin’ For large crowds. It was great when the kids lived at home. But just The Husband and I? OHMYGOODNESS I can not figure how to cook for two. Which is why my shape is round. LOL

  1. These are good suggestions. My older sister liked to bake, so I would help her, and then soon ventured out on my own with baking. By high school, I would help get dinner ready when my mom was working. As an adult I was a “Big Sister” in the Big Brother Big Sister program, and my girl loved to spend time in the kitchen, making fun things. It is something to learn, especially boys, who can grow up thinking they wouldn’t enjoy it!

  2. I learned to cook by watching my Grandmas, my Mom and my Aunts. When I was a teenager, I could cook at least a little, lol. I think it’s reasonable to ask a teen to cook. But, you have to agree to let them pick the recipes, I think.

  3. These are great tips. I started cooking when I was around four years old. Certainly gives you and edge when you get older.

      1. That is TOUGH. I struggle with that all the time Connie. A lot of times I end up freezing stuff. Good thing I have a chest freezer! Have a great weekend 🙂

  4. I think it is very important to teach teenagers the basics of cooking. Eating out constantly is unaffordable in the long run!

    1. Natalie, it’s so funny raising my kids we ate at home 90% of the time. Now they are grown and eat at home 10% of the time??? I guess when Alice comes for the summer I’m going to have to mold her into a cook.

  5. Start them young is my advice! I could cook a basic meal before I hit my teens. One of my first holiday jobs was in a Dublin Hospital as a ward assistant. No-one told me it involved cooking evening meals for up to 30 people and on time! Nothing beats jumping in at the deep end 😉

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