It is really easy to get your kids in the kitchen when they are small. They love making and decorating cookies and cupcakes. But as they get older it is a completely different story. The reason isn’t that they don’t want to as much as it is a matter of time. The teenager now is so busy with so many different activities and responsibilities that cooking is at the bottom of their list. But as responsible parents we need to find a way to encourage them to find some time to do some cooking before they go out on their own.
By the time they leave for college, the young adult should be able to cook 5 different meals. Most college students live some part of their college career on their own in an apartment. If they don’t know how to cook they will be spending a lot of money. They also won’t be eating as healthy as they would if they cooked for themselves.
My last post was about theme preparation tips. Basically, to make meal preparation easy, have a theme night each night of the week. One of the theme nights would be kids cooking night. That night they are responsible for getting the meal on the table. You need to be lenient about this and help them work it into their schedule—not your schedule.
It would be great if they would go with you every now and then to the grocery store to help purchase the ingredients needed to cook the meal. This doesn’t need to be done weekly. Just make sure they go at least once to the store with you for each different meal they prepare.
You won’t like this last suggestion—but it is very important! You need to clean up after the meal they prepared. That is your way of showing appreciation. To teach our children valuable lessons is usually a lot of work for us. But the results are well worth the effort.
If you have any other ideas for encouraging teenagers to cook a meal a week for the family, we would love to hear them in the comment box below. Send this to anyone you know that has teenagers—it’s never too late.