Kids in the Kitchen

kids cooking photo


I was pondering my roller coaster immersion into cooking the other day. Mom and Dad were on the road three-four months per year for work, so the majority of the dishes I learned were experimenting on my own in the kitchen (Chad was usually very patient and understanding). Thankfully, my sister-in-law, Lissa, demonstrated a few basics in high school. Are there a handful of recipes kids should know before leaving the house? Young men and young women, all should know some cooking basics when striking out on their own.

  • Spaghetti and Meatballs-This common staple is inexpensive and can be dressed up or down as needed.
  • A Whole Roast Chicken-The perfect warm-up for hosting future Thanksgiving meals, plus meat is expensive, cutting up a whole chicken at home is much more economical for future budgets
  • Pot Roast via Slow Pot-Knowing a basic slow pot meal will help when life gets busy. Just a few years ago, we finally stopped using Chad’s garage sale slow pot from college.
  • Burgers on the Grill-There are so many ways to prepare burgers: beef, venison, turkey, veggie, plus all the yummy additions! If kids learn burger basics and grilling skills, they will have many future culinary options. (Personally, I have a grilling phobia since I singed a large portion of my eye brows off 12 years ago. Perhaps it’s time to overcome my fear of “ye olde grill.”)
  • Baked Fish-Some might wonder why I included this dish. In America, we don’t eat much fish that isn’t fried or in stick form. Learning a baked recipe provides a healthy option for the dinner table.

The kids are still working through this list. Hopefully they will attempt each dish before beginning their own path. Can you think of any additional meals kids should know?



  1. My kids love to make their own ramen noodles and mac-n-cheese, while they could be used as side dish, I suppose they probably don’t count as a meal on their own; however, with a few add-ins, they could be converted. I like your list. It provides variety and most of the dishes on the list can be versitile and provide a wide range of dinners with minor alterations. My kids will be able to make chili, tacos, and, several chicken dishes.

  2. Unfortunately my children didn’t do a lot of original cooking , but they could make fish sticks and boxed mac & cheese like pro’s. Ha… But as adults, they are very good cooks and all love to grill with some of their own recipes, so guess they did pretty well without my help.

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