Get Your Teens to Cook Dinner Tonight!

New workshop: Teen-friendly, drop-in. We’ll teach your teens a new recipe and they’ll come home with dinner for four — hot from the oven! Click here for all the details!

“My kids can’t boil water.”
“My teens think ordering food from Uber Eats is making dinner.”
“My kids think ketchup is a vegetable.”

Have you heard complaints like this before? Millennials are entitled, unaware and woefully under-prepared for adulthood. Not if we help them! Teens can learn to cook and teens certainly can cook healthy, balanced meals for your family. They just need practice, guidance and direction.

I understand the frustration and disappointment of delegating and having your kids phone it in, or worse, just not bother. The problem with getting mad and just doing it yourself because it’s faster, better and easier is that it’s not for you, it’s for them.

Of course you can cook faster than your kids. You’ve had years of experience. They need regular practice, direction and the opportunity to fail. I’ve made load of bad meals and burnt lots of things. The best way to learn what not to do … is to do it.

You are Your Kids Home Ec Teacher Now!

Remember Home Ec? Me too! We only had it in grade 7 and 8, but we learned how to cook a meal, how to cooperate and delegate tasks and how to clean up.

All those hours of instruction in Home Ec have been transferred back to parents. Yay! The same parents who are working longer days, facing longer commutes and coming home trying to throw a decent meal on the table before getting on to homework and extra-curriculars and laundry and lunches.

So, if you have a teen in your life (or even a young adult), now is the perfect time to get them to cook one meal a week. Set them up for success. Look at your schedules, land on the best day, discuss what you expect:

Make Sure Your Teen Knows Exactly What You Expect
  • What does the meal entail?
  • What groceries are needed?
  • How will the table look?
  • How will the kitchen look?

We got our teens to start cooking this year. I’m not going to lie, it made me crazy watching the dishes and the mess pile up. Also, I’m kind of a control freak and wanted to jump in and give feedback and suggestions. After a few (more than a few) heated exchanges, I took a step back from hovering and nagging and made it clear that their mess was their responsibility. It also helped that we boosted our kids allowance when they cook dinner.

Want some kid-friendly recipes to get your kids going. I have a 30-minute pan pasta here and grillable, vegan burgers here. I get regular inspiration for recipes from here, here and here.

Good luck nudging your kids to adulthood.