Our middle son, Jack, came home from a friend’s house several months ago and reported that he and his friend made breakfast for the friend’s family. I had several questions running through my head simultaneously:
Why didn’t you cook me breakfast?
Were there any leftovers?
What did you make?
Cook??? How do you know how to cook??
Turns out, they made pancakes by following a YouTube video. Who knew? This little declaration got my wheels to turning. Jack is only 10. He has a brother that is 13 and entering high school. Gulp. We are down to one hand when counting down the years that he has left under this roof. Bigger gulp. We have always had our guys help with chores around the house, but the kitchen and cooking?? That’s always been my domain. I just get it done. It’s just easier that way. Until…until…Jack came home talking about making pancakes.
So…several months ago, I challenged the two older guys (We’re working on the 7 year old.) to make dinner once a month. Wait…not only do they make dinner, but they plan the menu and give me a grocery list. I want them thinking through the entire process. So far, we have had great success. Pretty soon I may turn everything over to them…just kidding…kind of. Wink.
Are you wondering about 12 basic things your child needs to know in the kitchen before they leave home?? Here they are:
- How to boil water.
Seems very basic, but they need to know how to turn the stove on, how to watch the pot and not let it boil over, and how to be sure to turn off the burner.
- How to read a recipe.
- How to use a knife.
- How to use a can opener.
- How to use measuring cups.
Recently, in one of our cooking adventures, I stopped the middle schooler just as he was about to pour 1/2 CUP of salt into a brownie batter, instead of 1/2 teaspoon salt. Yikes. That would have been interesting!!
- How to make a eggs (boiled and scrambled)
- How to make a baked potato
- How to make a box of macaroni and cheese
- How to brown and drain ground beef. (This can also be done in a crockpot.)
- How to turn on the oven and cook a pizza
This teaches them how to turn the oven on, read instructions, set a timer, and safely remove something hot from the oven.
- How to make homemade cookies. (Here’s a simple Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.)
- How to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
Once children learn basic kitchen skills like how to use a measuring cup and how to read a recipe, the sky is really the limit. Here are some great recipes to start with:
Do you have a graduating senior? A very special friend gave me this book called, Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her, when I graduated from high school, and while I was extremely proficient in the kitchen when I left home, I found it to be super helpful. It would be a great gift to anyone leaving home for the first time.
If you or someone you know of is in need of a printable menu plan, a budget planner, and a zone cleaning plan, you can click below to receive a free copy.
What about you?? Do you have a list of things you are teaching your children before they leave home?? What am I missing?? Do share. We are given approximately 7,000 days with these guys and I want to make each one count!