Cooking with Kids: Ages 12+
Kids aged 12+ are becoming more independent: understanding responsibility, discovering their passions, and may be tasked with being responsible for younger siblings or babysitting. They should be able to prepare simple meals (like making a healthy snack for themselves or their siblings, cooking pasta, reheating leftovers, etc.) and help clean up afterwards. With the fundamentals, they can improvise, try more complex recipes, and be even more involved with healthy living and eating with their family!
Meal Plans, Stocking a Pantry, and Budgeting
While some families may choose not to stick to a meal plan, the reality is most of us have between 8 to 12 recipes we make frequently. Tribal knowledge, like being able to plan groceries for the week, create staple meals, keep a properly stocked pantry, and stick to a food budget are skills often lost on younger generations but are wonderful skills to have.
Task young adults and teenagers with growing responsibilities. Children this age are more than capable of preparing one dinner per week or making their own packed lunch. Other ideas are to create the weekly grocery list, do flyer price checking, or create a meal plan to use the food you bought; all are great skills that will prepare them as they transition to adulthood.
Finding Reliable Recipes
The more experienced you and your children are in the kitchen, the better you both will be at experimenting with recipes. Show them how to find reliable recipes online or in cookbooks. Beware that some recipes online may be poorly written or suggest unfathomable flavour combinations (Our “Goes Well With” Section gives you lots of great pairing suggestions!). Let them experiment and find recipes that interest them, and allow them to make mistakes with their own kitchen adventures as this is all part of the learning process!
The more you cook, the more you learn, and eventually they should be able to remember basic recipes or follow reliable ones to feed themselves a healthy, balanced meal.