Teenagers often seem to have a bottomless pit for a stomach, and this is never more apparent than when they are sequestered in the house for weeks on end – be it spring break, summer vacation, or an unexpected quarantine. This does not have to mean that mom and dad are solely responsible for cooking multiple meals a day. There are loads of simple meals teens can make all on their own.
Teens can learn valuable life skills by spending time in the kitchen. The experience they have gained through making easy, tasty meals for themselves and the family will make their transition to adulthood and living independently a little easier.
Not only that, having another capable person in the home who can take a turn with the responsibilities of meal prep will take some of the stress off parents. Introducing your child to some simple meal ideas teens can make will be a win-win for everyone!
Tips for Getting Teens Started in the Kitchen
- Gather a collection of simple recipes that your teen already enjoys. Choose recipes with only a few ingredients and quick preparation to start.
- Before letting them loose in the kitchen, remind them of basic kitchen safety rules. Stove and knife safety that might seem common sense to you can be lost on some teens.
- Make sure that they understand the functions of different utensils, cookware, and kitchen gadgets.
- Involve them in weekly meal planning and grocery shopping. They might find themselves inspired by the things you are planning for the week or an ingredient on the shelves.
- Talk them through time management so that they learn how to make a full meal that is finished at the same time.
- Let them experiment a bit. They might have an idea for a twist on a staple that is a true game changer.
Meal Ideas Teens can Make
- Salads – They are healthy, versatile, and allow them to use what is on hand. Here is an option:
- Casseroles and One Pot/Pan Meals – They can toss a few ingredients together for a nearly complete meal.
- Breakfast dishes – Omelets, egg dishes, pancakes, and more are simple and great any time of day.
- Pasta dishes – Always affordable and delicious, whether they use jarred sauces or make their own.