Easy Meals for Kids to Learn to Cook for the Family

I've reached an exciting milestone at the Knerl House; my oldest boys are now cooking many of the meals for my family. This frees me up from having to do most of the cooking, and it helps them develop important life skills so that they can care for their own families some day!

What things do they cook? It varies. I try to show them one or two new recipes a week, having them beside me when I cook. I also give them freedom to make things their own. Stepping aside after having shown them the basics means that they can put a different spin on all the recipes. It really makes for some delicious and different meals!

This is the dish my boys love to make most!

Here are the top dishes created by my boys (ages 12 and 10):

1) Spaghetti. Who doesn't like spaghetti? I have the boys brown meat in a pan with seasonings, then add some jarred sauce. It's served over boiled noodles with a side of garlic bread. They also steam some green beans in the microwave for a healthy touch! (In the photo above, you can see that they even went the extra mile to soften onions and fresh spinach before adding to the sauce!)

2) French bread pizza. Halve a loaf of bread, spread with pizza or pasta sauce, and top with cheese, veggies and pepperoni before putting under the toaster oven.  This is great with a bagged salad mix!

3) Brinner. My boys love making sandwiches in the breakfast sandwich maker or waffles in the waffle iron. Add a side of frozen fruit and some bacon (pre-made works if frying bacon makes you nervous.)

4) Red beans and rice. My 12-year-old makes this dish better than I do!

5) Chef salad. Top a bagged salad mix with shredded cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and lunch meat. The boys really like shredding the cheese!

While these are our top 5 meals, they really do help ease the burden of meal planning. Knowing that there will five opportunities to sit one out helps me get more done, and equips my kids for being better adults someday!

What meals do you trust your youngsters to make?