Why I Am Teaching My Kids To Cook


Paige and I made this today, talking about the simple ingredients that combine to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a basic thing, but one of those things that everyone should be able to make. Even my 3-year-old … in theory (no, she isn’t allowed to use the stove – she’s just 3!). It wasn’t a special occasion … just something that we do.

The other day, a friend sent me a note saying that someday my kids will impress their friends with their extensive kitchen knowledge. She’d read a recent blog post and seen pictures of Paige cooking.

It really warmed my heart, especially since I hope that the lessons I teach them do stay with them forever. And I hope that someday they will come home craving something special that I make. What better compliment is there than to have someone yearn for something that you make?

But more importantly, I want my kids to know how to feed themselves … without ordering in. Cooking is one of those essential skills that everyone should have — though not everyone does. By inviting my kids into the kitchen and talking them through what I am doing (and also letting them do some cooking too), they are getting an early introduction to how food is made. And someday, when they are older and head off to college, they’ll have this to take with them.


It’s not about making complicated dishes, though they’ve helped me with their share of those. It’s about having the basics – knife skills, food prep skills and basic cooking skills.

With this knowledge, they will be able to make so many things. They won’t go hungry because of not knowing how to make pasta or whip up a stir-fry. They will be able to cook.


Do you cook with your kids (or grandkids or nieces and nephews?


  1. says

    I definitely love the idea that i’ll be able to instill in my future children a love of food and cooking. Kids definitely learn by example and you are setting a great one!

  2. says

    “It’s not about making complicated dishes; It’s about having the basics – knife skills, food prep skills and basic cooking skills.” So true! I love what you’re doing and wish more parents, regardless of busy schedules, took the time. :)

  3. says

    I cook with my kids starting when they are old enough to stand on a step stool in the kitchen (about 16 months old)! My oldest are almost 12 (twins), and they bake and cook completely independently. I think it’s a result of all the time they’ve spent in the kitchen over the years. It’s a life skill and also a fantastic way to bond with kids. Plus, I love cooking and want to impart that same love to my kids. Great topic! Thanks.

    • says

      That’s so inspiring, Rivki. I love hearing how early kitchen time has resulted in a love of cooking. I can’t wait till my kids can cook independently too.

  4. says

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s part of making them independent and it teaches them to be healthy, to know what they are putting in their bodies. Besides, it is a really special bonding activity.

  5. says

    Made blueberry muffins with my 2 and a half yr old just this morning… and I have fond memories from when I was a kid of waking my mom up early to bake blueberry muffins with me before school.

    Even if at this point she makes more mess than she does clean, it’s still really fun. And I like that she’ll be able to fend for herself at a young age, too…

  6. says

    I totally agree! My mom had my sister and I helping her from when we were very young, with independent responsibility for at least some meals by the time we were teenagers. By contrast, my wife’s mother was more of a “this is my domain, please stay out of my hair” cook. As a result, my wife lived on tuna salad, pasta, and sandwiches until we were married. She has cooked me exactly one dinner in the 9.5 years we’ve been together.

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