Getting into a great college is the ultimate dream for parents in a world that is so focused on paving the world for the next generation. With helicopter parenting giving way to snowplow parenting, here is a list of kitchen skills you really should teach your teens as they make the longest trip of their lives – away from home!
Managing Household Expenses
Your kid is going to be on a budget and they will need to manage their own money. And while it’s great to flag a cab, buy new boots and get a drink, they must know that they have got to eat. And commute. After rent and utility bills, those are the most important aspects of running your life smoothly.
The Basic Art of Feeding Yourself
No teen should get into college without knowing at least a basic amount of cooking. Beyond microwave dinners and Cup O’ Noodles. Teach them at least one family recipe for them to contribute, cook and deal with homesickness. All kids must know how to rustle up eggs at least three ways unless they are vegan; two or three salads; a decent basic dressing like vinaigrette and ‘no stove needed’ healthy meals. If they can learn to make a pasta, bake something and another hot meal, they are set. For college and on the path to enjoying a lifetime of good food.
How to Put the Thing On!
Pressure cookers, hot plates, stove tops, hobs, chimneys, blenders, ovens and microwaves for even basic things like thawing must be all appliances they can operate with dexterity. At four o’ clock in the morning some day in the near future, they will thank you for this. Teach them to use it, wash it thoroughly and keep it dry!
If it’s possible, teach them to fish. If not, teach them to garden. Scratch that…teach them to garden anyway. Teach your children to know what can be eaten and can’t be eaten in the great outdoors. Teach them how to grow salad herbs and microgreens in pots.
Teach them kitchen safety. And teach it to them over and over again. So it becomes a part of muscle memory. Aprons, mitts and other protective gear; remembering to turn off appliances that were turned on; checking under lids, rims and along corners for slime, fungus and decay are all going to keep them eating well and living better.
Cuts and Burns
It is going to happen. Deal with it. Once you have done that, let them learn basic first aid for cuts and burns which are a given around a kitchen. They should know how to stop a bleed, treat a burn and when it is time to rush to the emergency room.
This generation of millennials is so resourceful and resilient and they will find their own solutions to the world around us. But with a full tummy and a happy heart, they will be better poised to do so with good health and humour. Oh! Do remind them to carry their own grocery bags.