How to Teach Your Kids To Grill
Cooking is a special skill. Not only can it be entertaining for some and relaxing for others, but it’s an extremely practical skill with an extreme long-term pay-off. Anyone that has honed their skills in cooking has opened the doors to so many new foods and meals, let alone the potential health benefits that come with them.
Whether or not you enjoy cooking (definitely not everyone!), it’s hard to argue that it’s one of the most useful skills that any average person can choose to learn, and one that should be passed down from one generation to the next. While baking, stovetop, and the mighty microwave can be more entry-level, grilling can be intimidating for newcomers. Here are some tips to help pass on your grilling talents to the next generation.
Create an inviting and encouraging environment:
Get your kids excited by offering them the ability to help with lunch or dinner, and let them pick out the menu. If they get excited about being in charge, it will go a long way in getting them to actually follow through. Explain that mistakes happen and nobody gets it perfect right away, which will allow them to take more risks and not feel bad about ruining everyone’s night.
Show them the basics:
Once they’re ready to take the leap, teach them the absolute basics such as how to care for the grill, how to light it, and how to operate it safely. It might even be worth not cooking at all the first time, rather just learning how to turn it on and off without catching the garage on fire. After they get the hang of it, explain the tools you use, how to fine-tune the heat, and other tips you think might be common sense but actually might be learned habits over time.
After they get on board, plan to cook a small portion of food or just an appetizer for the main meal. That way, the newcomer doesn’t get overwhelmed or feel like everything is riding on their shoulders. This also shows them how certain foods can complement others and fit together as a complete meal. By starting small, the focus is all on a few items, so drifting focus or wandering mind won’t be as big of a concern.
Find something that they love:
Encourage your kids to cook the foods they love eating. That way, they’ll want to do it again and again, and we all know repetition is the key to developing any new skill. Most kids love eating at least a few of the following beginner-friendly foods: Hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, chicken breasts, or even grilled vegetables. Encourage them to try variations of the foods they are used to, including different flavors, marinades, or different cooking techniques. They will be amazed at the different outcomes and want to keep trying it again and again.