I think that most of my generation was cooking at an early age. It was part of helping out around the house in a time when fast food was a treat rather than an everyday staple. Today I am shocked every time I meet a teen who can’t cook the simplest of foods. It is not hard to get a child interested in cooking. The key is to start with simple dishes that they can modify as they choose.
Scramble some eggs. I think that every child I have taught to cook started with scrambled eggs. They are simple to cook and fun to modify. My own son declares that he has a secret recipe for his. Teach kids the basics of scrambled eggs, and then let them add cheese, bacon bits, vegetables, or whatever sounds good to them.
Try a bit of French toast. I taught my son how to make French toast on a day we were short on eggs. He wanted to make breakfast and we were limited on eggs, so I had him beat a couple of eggs together, add some milk, and then had him drip in a bit of vanilla. He also got to sprinkle on some cinnamon as the toast was cooking. Part of the thrill for him was using things that were in the spice cabinet. Being able to use ingredients that aren’t used often helped him to feel like a grown up.
Bring on the pasta. Macaroni and cheese is not the only dish that requires boiling noodles, but it is a great place to start. Show kids how to tell if the noodles are ready by carefully cutting them on the edge of a pan with a spoon. Let your kids choose butter, milk, or both to make the macaroni and cheese creamy. This lays the groundwork for future pasta endeavors.
Who doesn’t like shish kabobs? One of the funnest dishes for kids to make is a shish kabob. They can put just about anything they want on it and make a meal for the whole family. Make sure they use something like a tong to turn the shish kabobs so they don’t get burnt. Allow them to use a sauce of their choice so the experience is more than just putting food on a stick and heating it up.
Turn on the crock pot. If your child is like mine and eager to cook more than just breakfast and simple foods, introduce him or her to the crock pot. Your child can cook an entire roast, with vegetables included. They can also cook ribs, Italian beef, and even bread in the crock pot and they don’t ever have to risk using the stove!
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Source: Personal Experience