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Teach Your Kids to Cook: Raising Responsible Adults

Are you raising kids or raising adults?

I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately as I’ve been talking to my girls. We’re working on a BIG project–It’s called “The Whole Story”, and it’s a course that helps moms tell their daughters about sex, puberty, and growing up. My girls do the videos for your girls explaining everything, I do the videos for the parents, and then there are tons of checklists and mom/daughter date ideas and more! It will launch the week after Labour Day. But we’ve been working behind the scenes to make it happen.

Then on October 3, my daughter Rebecca’s book Why I Didn’t Rebel officially hits bookstores!

So the three of us have been talking about their childhoods and about parenting almost nonstop for the last few weeks. And one theme that we keep coming back to is how important it is to teach your kids to have basic life skills.

When we think that we’re raising kids, then we go out of our way to protect them, to comfort them, to do great things for them, to make sure that they have a good life. When we think that we’re raising adults, then we go out of our way to make sure that they’re equipped so that when they leave home, they’re ready.

One parenting style is focused on the here and now; one is focused on the future.

Which one are you?

I think the two most important skills that we can give our kids is teaching them how to handle money and how to cook. If they can do both of those things, they’ll be so much further ahead!

And so I thought about the posts that I’ve written about those things in the past, and I thought that today I would point to some great ones on money, and then rerun the one about cooking, because it’s important!

Teach Your Kids About Money

Teach Your Kids to Cook

Here’s what I wrote last year:

Cooking is the one skill everyone must have before they leave home.

‘Every kid should know how to cook before they leave home. Does yours? ‘Click To Tweet

There are others, too, like how to manage your money or how to navigate public transit. But, seriously, everybody needs to know how to cook. It’s healthier, it’s cheaper, it lets you be hospitable, and it’s far more conducive to good family life when they do get married!

Here’s one of Katie’s posts from Instagram shortly after she moved out last year:

Teach kids to cook! An intro to the Kids Can Cook Ecourse

THAT was a proud Mommy moment!

Katie claims I started teaching her to cook breakfast when she was 6, and she had to make the pancakes because I was too lazy. That’s not how I remember it, but that’s her story and she’s sticking to it.

But the fact is that the girls were helping me around the kitchen when they were really young. Even though they sometimes (okay, often) slowed me down, I figured:

  • It helped us have mommy/daughter time
  • They learned some important lessons
  • We could do math in an interesting way (measuring cups!)
  • They were more likely to eat what they cooked
  • Eventually they’d master this stuff and then I’d get a break!

That last one was especially important for me. And you know what? It happened! By the time they were 11 and 12 they were making dinner occasionally, and I had the night off. Here’s Rebecca at 15 making dinner!

Teach your kids to cook! Why kids need to learn how to cook when they're young--and how to teach them.

Now, I had all girls, but I think this is just as important if you have boys. EVERYBODY needs to know how to cook, because even if you’re married, there are times when everyone will have to cook for themselves. You can’t rely on someone else, and to believe that the spouse will do all of the cooking puts an undue strain on the relationship before it even starts! Now, I do do most of the cooking because I enjoy it and that’s how Keith and I have divided up tasks. But if Keith had to make dinner–he certainly could. So teach your boys to cook!

‘The best gift you can give your future daughter-in-law is a son who can cook!’Click To Tweet

And with school starting again, I think this is a great time of year to start planning for it. How are you going to teach your kids to cook? When? It won’t just magically happen without a plan!

Teaching Kids to Cook: It's one of the most important life skills they need. And it can save you time, too!

That’s where Kids Cook Real Food comes in

(affiliate links follow)

If you want to teach your kids how to cook, but you have no idea how to start, Katie Kimball has created the Kids Cook Real Food online course where you watch videos of her actual kids cooking (they range in age from about 4 to early teens, so there’s a good mix), and then there are learning objectives and recipes for each lesson. Kids learn how to wash and cut produce, how to use spices, how to measure, how to bake, and so much more!

And Katie (Katie with the ecourse, not my daughter Katie) focuses on cooking “real” food, not just learning how to make spaghetti from a jar or a can. She shows kids how to make food from scratch–and how it really isn’t that hard.

Katie says:

We’ll provide everything you need to get your kids from kitchen assistants to independent cooks – and you get to have fun in the kitchen.

Plus, this is finally a class that all your kids can do together – no more trying to find time to meet the needs of each age individually. You can all spend time together AND have a final product that you can eat for dinner.

There’s no fluff, no games, and no glitter.


And she means it, too! I’ve taken a look at all these resources, and they’re really comprehensive. And really fun! I know my kids would have loved this.

Check it out here!

Kids Cook Real Food: Teaching Kids to Cook

Leanne Seel, one of my blog readers, was actually the one who told me about this amazing course (seriously, my blog readers tell me about the coolest stuff!). (Full disclosure: I’m an affiliate for it now, but only because I legitimately love it! I’m totally on board for ANYTHING that helps kids learn to be responsible and stops mom from feeling like a maid.) Leanne’s been working through the course with her kids, and here’s how she explains it:

The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse is a multimedia online course designed to help adults teach kids to cook. It includes videos, PDF files, printable graphics, and recipe ebooks.Course creator Katie Kimball is absolutely brilliant in how she’s put this together. She walks you through exactly what you need to do, making the lessons easy to implement and fun to do.

My kids love “Mrs. Kimball”. They cheer when I tell them it’s time for their cooking class. Seeing other kids demonstrating the skills in the videos is really motivating to them, and they use every opportunity they can to practice their skills both during the lesson and afterwards.

I have saved so much time in the kitchen by using this course! I invest less than an hour of my time for each lesson, and the payback is immediate. My kids have learned to make their own healthy snacks so I don’t have to. They wash the produce for salad while I chop, cutting the prep time in half. This week, our lesson is on sharp knife skills so very soon they will be able to take over more vegetable chopping.

It really is awesome.

But you know what often stops us? Dinner time is too rushed. We don’t have time to incorporate cooking skills into an evening. We don’t have time to have kids underfoot in the kitchen. We’d rather they just play by themselves and let us get the meal on the table so we can get on with the important stuff of living.

But what if teaching your kids to cook IS the important stuff of living?

Seriously, isn’t it more important than a karate class? Than swimming lessons? Than having play time?

It helps you spend quality time with your kids where they’ll have your attention. It helps them learn such an important life skill. And it helps them eventually take over those tasks so they learn to be responsible and contribute to the household.

Any time you’re teaching something it’s going to be some work. But if pays off big time once they can do it! And imagine how grown up a 10-year-old will feel knowing that they can make a meal all by themselves?

At our house, my goal was to make sure the kids could cook 7 meals when they left home–one for every night of the week–without even a recipe. And one of those meals had to be something fancy, like Thanksgiving Dinner! But you know what I found? Once they got the concept of cooking, it wasn’t just 7 meals. Now everything is open for them! (Seriously, Rebecca even makes her own vegetable and chicken stocks!)

School’s about to start, and whether your kids are in public school, private school, or homeschool, it means that life will get hectic. Now’s the time when YOU are setting the schedule for the rest of the year, deciding what activities you’ll be doing, when you’ll be doing homework, what chores kids will be doing.

Can I suggest that you take one night a week and call it “cooking class night”? Your kids will love it. You’ll love the results. And your kids will know how to cook when they leave home! It’s a win-win.

Kids Cook Real Food--teaching kids to cook

Check out Kids Cook Real Food here!

Now tell me: Do you think there’s a difference between raising kids and raising adults? What are you doing to raise adults? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tags: cook healthy meals, kids should do chores

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