Dishes every child should learn to cook?

So far she (11yo) has cooked nachos, meatballs & gravy, meatloaf & quiche, next weekend we get stew. She can make scrambled eggs & a nice pav but need some more ideas for family meals she can cook once a week.
Ideas please!

Chef_accroul, May 31, 6:45 pm

Corn fritters, Spag Bol - but you might need to help with draining the pasta, Chicken Wraps, Sushi, and homemade Pizza (base done in the bread maker here). My kids are a bit younger so they are supervised but manage all these and some of yours, I think I will introduce some of yours, Pav - AMAZING I can't make one! well done to your 11 year old, Cheesecake is a good desert option as well.

Chef_lizzyj, May 31, 6:53 pm

Lasagne should be easy, I use the sheets and make a vegetarian sauce with cashews, mint, and cottage cheese. The original recipe called for pine nuts but not at that price.

Chef_hezwez, May 31, 6:55 pm

Self saucing pudding

A roast

Chef_melp6, May 31, 6:59 pm

Miss 11 makes a lovely stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon.
Plus pizza, lasagne, cakes and cupcakes, omelette.

I don't think it matters which dishes they can make - it's more that they have good knife skills, understand proper nutrition and proper hygiene!

Chef_gaspodetwd, May 31, 7:04 pm

DD did this one in Y9 class, we modified a bit so crushed ginger/garlic, added carrots etc. Its a good website too.
http://www.jamieshomecookingskills.com/recipe.php?title=chicken-noodle-stir-fry-1

Bacon & Egg pie, gourmet burgers, and her own recipes book or card file to keep them all in too.

Chef_dinx, May 31, 7:08 pm

Timing too-it's no good putting the potatoes on if the chicken has just gone in the oven

Chef_melp6, May 31, 7:13 pm

show her how to make dumplings for a stew.
I started off with the baking, then progressed to family meals by the time I was 13 I was confident cooking for the family without supervision. All 3 of my brothers are also good cooks as they learnt as well.

Chef_cgvl, May 31, 7:42 pm

Oh - I think there is an art to leftovers too! My children know I make soup from leftovers - or pie filling or gourmet sandwiches. Not something I was taught at school but I think these days it's very important!

Chef_gaspodetwd, May 31, 8:03 pm

I gave my son 2 rules:
he was to cook dinner once a week.
He could cook anything he liked but he could not make the same meal twice.
He complained heaps at first but after a year of doing that, he decided he was better at some things than me and years later is an accomplished cook now - he nearly became a chef.

He could go through all my cookbooks etc. look things up, whatever.
But a different meal - it made him learn to cook properly. some things initially didn't work too well, but most did, and he learned fast.

Chef_lythande1, Jun 1, 7:23 am

macaroni cheese, apple crumble, self saucing puddings, fritters, biscuits, cakes, quiche, muffins, baked potatoes (stuffed), spag bol, nacho's, salads, pies with bought pastry to start.

Chef_pengy2, Jun 1, 8:39 am

scones and pikelets are both easy pan cakes

Chef_whitehead., Jun 1, 12:34 pm

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. As many ways as you know to cook vegetables. Davidt4 posted a fabulous eggplant and leek roasted vegetable dish in another post. That would be a wonderful recipe to start with.

Chef_buzzy110, Jun 1, 4:09 pm

Here is Davidt4's recipe (prob not the one Buzzy is referring to)
Leek & Eggplant with currants and olives
1 large leek (or 2 small) thickly sliced, green parts as well as white
1 large eggplant in2 - 3 cm chunks, skin on
125 ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c currants
1/2 c black olives
salt and pepper
parsley to serve
Combine all ingredients except parsley in a large wide pan, cover and cook over a low heat for about an hour or until vegetables are very tender. Check liquid occasionally and add a little water if necessary. The mixture when cooked should be luscious but not too wet. Add chopped parsley just before serving.

Chef_hezwez, Jun 1, 4:13 pm

Definitely a sponge and a cake that they would be proud to share with friends or family.
If they have a favourite recipe, then I'd definitely teach them to make that too.
I'd also make sure they know how to prepare veggies.

Chef_suzannelg, Jun 1, 4:14 pm



I agree. Timing of a full meal including hot vegetables is the hardest thing to get right, and a traditional roast dinner is a good way to learn.

Chef_davidt4, Jun 1, 4:22 pm

Have you guys seen Masterchef Junior? Is that show for real? The kids seem like 8 going on 38.

Chef_chrise73, Jun 1, 4:52 pm

lasagne, meatloaf, spaghetti bolognaise, a good roast (chicken or other), A bechamel sauce.

Chef_vonkrum, Jun 3, 11:00 am

Thank god I encouraged our son to cook, because he has to cook every night because the wife can't be bothered.

Chef_westward1, Jun 3, 11:10 am

The first "recipe" dinner I taught mine was spaghetti carbonara. She had already done meat and three veg type dishes but wasn't confident so I wanted to show her something simple and exotic.

Chef_arielbooks, Jun 3, 12:53 pm

Scones, pancakes, shepherd's pie, bacon and egg pie, spaghetti and meatballs, stuffed potatoes.

Chef_lidbud, Jun 3, 1:46 pm

How about a vegetable challenge - choose a vegetable and make some thing exciting with it. Extra points (?) if the vegetable is in season/makes up the main part of the meal.

Jamie Oliver has a great website for newbie cooks (and not so newbie, I've learned a few things I didn't know, and made some of the recipes):

Featured skills: http://www.jamieshomecookingskills.com/skills.php Basic recipes: http://www.jamieshomecookingskills.com/recipe-categories.php

Chef_mjhdeal, Jun 3, 4:04 pm

Yes. That is it. Thank you for finding it and posting it here.

Chef_buzzy110, Jun 6, 10:58 am

How to make a really great garden salad is also a skill that I find sadly lacking these days.

Chef_buzzy110, Jun 6, 11:00 am

What a great idea.

Chef_buzzy110, Jun 6, 11:01 am

Perhaps you could look at the many ways each vegetable might be cooked.
The many ways eggs can be used for breakfast dishes.
Survival skills using just what is available on the day. 3 or 4 ingredients to teach flexibility in thinking. Treat it as a fun way to feed the family.
Most important teach knife skills and how to stay safe in the kitchen using electrical appliances and that cooking is FUN.

Chef_beaniebabe, Jun 6, 12:57 pm

I'm always Xstatic when kids are introduced to cooking. Part of basic cooking for the young is to also encourage and coach them where the food comes from. Is it ethical, mass produced, chemicals, organic,etc? Also Cost effectiveness and budget, shopping list and good old fashioned growing it yourself. Learn early to normalize.
Keep it simple. A child at any age can learn and understand where food comes from. As kids it was normalized behaviour when asked to go dig up the spuds, pull the carrots, fetch the eggs, grow from seed and homekill. Podding the peas, shucking the corn, knowing when to pick sunripened strawberries, tomatoes, fruit.
The key to encourage youngsters to value cooking is Patience! Make it fun and informative.
Getting them to photograph and write their own cookbook is a brilliant way to introduce many levels of appreciation. Document if growing from scratch all the way to the dinner table. In years to come these 'childhood' cook books become history and a journey to reflect and share with their own. Who knows what can be achieved? Imagination & Inspiration knows no boundaries!

Chef_daarhn, Jun 6, 3:20 pm

What a great post daarhn.
I have nieces & a nephew who love what I cook & I grow all of my own vegetables (apart from the tropical type stuff) & they know exactly where their food comes from, when they stay with me.They are country kids, so they have a good grasp, anyway. I recall away back one (about 2) loved carrots but was a bit anti when she helped me pull a few from the garden . I'm not eating that, it came out of the dirt! Quite funny really, a learning curve!
I have copied many, many recipes from here & lots of other places, into folders & they all have their own folder or two that they want. One's a vegetarian & they all love the vege dishes I have found on here, as do I.
Auntie's recipe books are hot faves!
It's city kids who don't always get the same experiences of growing & harvesting their own food,
I'm all for them getting that experience . somehow.

Chef_samanya, Jun 6, 7:20 pm

I remember teaching my step son how to cook - he loved stuffing chicken ("have I got my hand up a chicken's bum?" )and making salads. he used to stand on a chair to help. Was very cute. Now at 25 he is a dab hand in the kitchen, as is his sister, altho she took a little longer to develop a love of food and cooking.

Chef_awoftam, Jun 6, 7:26 pm


Lovely . good on you for giving him that experience & of course he had his hand up a chook's bum!
You should have asked him at the time . where the hell did he think his eggs came from ;o)

Chef_samanya, Jun 6, 7:43 pm



He loved the fact he hand his hand up a chook's bum lol - he must have been all of 4 or 5 used to make a heck of a mess I have a photo somewhere and the glee on his wee face is priceless. Eggs came from the other bottom don't ya know. He was very firm on that point. Not sure where he got it from.

Chef_awoftam, Jun 6, 7:47 pm

. bless him!

Chef_samanya, Jun 6, 9:05 pm

While I could think of a lot more (and certainly different ones) . here we go:
Ten meals your kids should know how to cook before they move out:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11481461

Chef_uli, Feb 15, 10:12 pm

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