7 tips for teaching your kids to cook

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Wednesday, 28 November 2012.
Tagged: guides, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, kids, tips

7 tips for teaching your kids to cook

When journalist Robin Powell, who has kids around the same age as mine, interviewed me about the trials and tribulations of teaching your offspring to cook before they leave home, it dawned on me how essential cooking skills really are. So here are my 7 best tips and tricks to entice your kids into the kitchen.

  1. Make it fun and start early. Chocolate crackles may not be that nutritious but early childhood fun cooking can foster a love of, and interest in, food and cooking.
  2. Break it down into easy steps. If you can’t find a recipe book that does this in really simple steps, then give the child a recipe notebook and get them to write the steps down as you make a dish together. Encourage them to be adventurous and add their own changes e.g. add more tomato or try another herb.
  3. Make sure you give them the basic skills of stir-frying, barbecuing and roasting. Oh, and don’t forget the 1,000 easy ways with mince – a must for any student on a budget and flatting for the first time! You know the drill – bolognaise, cottage pie, meatballs, burgers and tacos etc.
  4. Take them shopping and teach them what cuts of meat are economical and what that means in terms of cooking. e.g. blade steak may be cheap but you can’t just whack it on the barbie and expect it to be tender.
  5. Teach them to cook the staples – potatoes, pasta, rice, couscous - and microwave or steam basic vegies – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes.
  6. Show them how to make quick, interesting and filling salads with a simple homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing.Start with a simple tossed green salad, then progress to a Greek salad, cole slaw or Waldorf salad and finally something really daring like a Pumpkin, spinach, pine nuts and feta meal-in-one salad.  A home-made dressing is easy and costs next to nothing.
  7. Show them how to use convenience foods such as frozen peas and spinach, canned corn, canned beans, canned Italian tomatoes and microwave rice. These are handy when you’re a beginner cook and make the process of turning out a meal a lot easier. Nutritionally such products stack up well against the equivalent fresh cooked product.

If your teen or young adult is about to leave home, why not make them a present of Nutrition for Life and Zest: the Nutrition for Life Cookbook? These two books have all the information they need on eating a balanced diet as well as some easy, quick, tasty and nutritious recipes that will impress their friends!

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Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby has the answers! She is an accredited nutritionist, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Nutrition for Life 2020 Edition is a fresh new update on all the things you've read about or heard in the last year. Think insects, collagen, vegan eating, Keto dieting, vitamin B12, fast food and cafe culture.  It has plenty of colour pictures and is easy to dip in and out of. Grab your copy NOW!