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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Teaching A Teenager To Cook - A Fun Time For All

As your children mature and develop, they’ll no doubt become independent. This can be hard to see as a parent, but also something you welcome, because after all, their independence is much better than a slow rate of development, relying on you well into their adult years.

However, they won’t get there alone. This is why it’s helpful to teach them a range of skills as they move into their late teenage years and early adulthood. For instance, you might help them practice how to drive between lessons so they can potentially pass their test first or second time around. 

Another essential habit and hobby to teach them is that of cooking good, nutritious meals. This can help them steer clear from fast food, as well as give them that sense of independence in the kitchen. But it can be tough to know where to start with cooking, as it’s almost like teaching someone to paint. Sure there are essential techniques to learn, but styles and cuisine differs. So, in this post, we’ve decided to help you get started. Please consider the following advice for the best results:

Teach Various Cooking Methods Of One Ingredient

A good way to learn the basic components of cooking is to learn the fundamental aspects of putting a meal together, and that means understanding how ingredients should be treated. For example, some guitar teachers will prefer teaching their students chords and then the songs, as opposed to songs and then the chords.

So, we can keep it simple. You might show your teen how to oven-roast green beans and potatoes, and then how to boil and steam them. You can show them how each preparation method tastes, and when one is superior to the other (looking for mashed potatoes? Boil them. Crafting an English Roast? You guessed it). This way, you can establish the logic of cooking in their mind, and that will help you move onto.

Showing Them Family Classics

It can not only be instructive, but quite wholesome to share family classic recipes with your child. These might include recipes that your parent passed down to you, or simple dishes you loved from your childhood.

For many, dishes like this wonderful southern dressing recipe can be a wonderful side, while for others, a particular cultural dish from an ethnic heritage brings them back to their family’s roots. No matter what the dish is, or how simple and humble it is, if it helps oyu feel that sense of connection to those you know most of all, then it’s probably worth teaching.

Demonstrate Different Cookware

One of the first hurdles that comes with learning to cook for the first time is that of determining the appropriate cookware to use. This can seem simple on the surface when you have experience in the kitchen, but when you’re just starting out it can be confusing.

It can be helpful to show how to use different items then, with small tricks like showing how stainless steel pans need to be heated before adding colder oil to prevent sticking. You might also show them how to use wire racks instead of a toaster, how to boil the perfect egg, salting water before you boil it, and the importance of using pasta water in your sauces. You may also show how to clean pans by heating them with baking soda in to remove hard stains, and how to season a cast iron skillet. This can make a big difference in their basic cookery knowledge.

Go Shopping From Scratch

Of course, no cooking is divorced from the ingredients and recipes used to craft tasty meals, so it’s good to take your teenager to the supermarket, fishmongers, grocers or butchers, and to show them how to select good produce within a given recipe, and how to look for deals. This way they’ll understand how to budget a set of meals for the week, and how to buy in bulk to stretch out ingredients for leftovers that can be frozen and reheated - this can save them a great deal of money as they move out into their own space. 

You might decide to work together to craft a Sunday meal for the family, going out to find some starters, main meals with good proteins, and a dessert. Put together and set to a budget, you can show them the logic of meal prep, selecting fresh ingredients, and the importance of cooking fresh instead of relying on delivery apps.

With this advice, you’re sure to teach your teenager how to cook in the healthiest and most responsible way.


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