Easy as pie: teaching my boys to cook

I love to cook. It’s therapeutic to be in the kitchen planning, prepping, and preparing meals for my family. It is not always easy to find the time with a busy family schedule, but I think we all benefit from regular home-cooked meals. I have three sons, all of whom are becoming very skilled cooks. 

My 12-year-old is an extremely picky eater. There is little he likes and less he is willing to try. I have found that enlisting his help with the planning and prepping has helped to expand his palate. When he knows exactly what goes into the dish—or better yet has a say in what we make—he will be more adventurous. We spend a lot of time exploring cookbooks, looking at pictures and reading recipes. There are some very mouth-watering pictures that entice even the shyest of eaters. We even have fun shopping for kitchen gadgets. This also creates some excitement and anticipation for our next meal.

My oldest son, now fifteen years old, can put some food away. Sometimes I wonder if he even tastes his food anymore—he reminds me of how my Labrador eats. I assure you he does. He is right next to me every Thanksgiving and most meals where his football or lacrosse schedule permits him to be home during that time. He has developed quite a love for cooking and is considering a culinary future.

Our youngest is even starting to follow suit at age 10. Baking is his thing. We spend most Sundays baking together. He doesn’t always have the attention span to see the recipe through, but he always has time to lick the bowl.

As the mom of three very active, hungry boys, cooking is a good skill to have. And I think it is a good skill to teach. I am sure their future spouses will be appreciative. It gives us a great opportunity to spend time together, both in the prepping and enjoying of the meals we share. We have even been known to have our home version of Chopped (from Food Network). Not every meal turns out great, but every meal is an investment in our family. That is worth every calorie and minute spent.

About Dr. Raquel Anderson, Bundoo Behavioral Health Specialist

Raquel Anderson, EdD, LMHC, NCC, is the Bundoo Behavioral Health Specialist.

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