Teach your children to cook

Would it be controversial of me to suggest that failing to teach your children to cook is neglecting a hugely important of parenting? That is, missing out a huge part of a range of life skills that should be imparted upon your kids.

homemade lasagne

As I lovingly prepared a homemade lasagne earlier (by which I mean threw it together to satisfy my own cravings) I caught myself yet again feeling utterly indebted to my mum and my nan (dad’s mum) for having given me both culinary skills and the encouragement to experiment, which is the root of most of my dishes.

Don’t get me wrong, my mum was no Michelin star chef. She can’t cook meat (anyone who eats beef and lamb well done might as well not bother, sorry mum), and turkey twizzlers were regularly served in our house growing up til that bastard Jamie took them away, but her spaghetti bolognese is rivalled only by my own (of course) and she makes a mean syrup sponge pud.

My nan was of the generation that hand made everything and grew a whole lot of what she cooked too. I have fond memories of my nan’s rhubarb crumble, with fresh fruit straight from the garden and proper custard made the way you’re supposed to.

While I’m not naive enough to believe everyone has the time to both grow and prepare their own food these days, I think relying on the freezer section in your local supermarket and introducing your kids to fresh stuff just once a week alongside your roast does everyone a disservice. It robs children of the opportunity to experience and help with meal prep and robs the whole family of tastes beyond miscellaneous processed yellow crap.

Cooking at home is cheaper and better for you than ready meals and takeaway, and a necessary skill as a self-sufficient adult. Teach your children to cook.


  1. My parents say they taught me to cook, and there’s even photographic evidence of me as a child baking cookies with Mom, and they say Dad explained everything to me in my bouncy seat at six months old as he cooked. But I don’t remember actually doing any cooking as a teen — I don’t remember being allowed to use the stove either. And when I moved out, I had to call home to find out how to make mashed potatoes (It’s been 12 years and I still call Dad to find out how to make things, also, google). Lol! So, I totally agree with you about teaching your kids to cook. It makes like just so much easier when you can feed yourself.

    • Jem

      05 Oct at 11:33 am

      Ahh yes – I think alongside teaching your kids how to cook you need to LET THEM too! My mum was pretty awesome at letting me loose in the kitchen. I remember cooking a big sunday roast at age 11 or 12.

  2. Yeah, I really wish I had known how to cook when I left home! Daniel is excellent at it and I am sort of hopeless. I don’t even know what goes into his stir fry sauce and we eat it once a week! I guess at least I can bake well?

    Wesley loves helping with dinner so I think we are on the right track there. Whew!

  3. YES.

    But first, can you teach this adult to cook? Please. 😭

  4. I only recently taught myself to cook.. I realized the biggest things my parents did for me was giving me all the essentials like pots and pans and what not when I moved out.