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What sort of things should a 13 year old be able to cook?

(45 Posts)
PirateJones Sat 03-May-14 22:08:06

Just a rough idea of what she should be able to do / make.
Should she be able to cook something for the family once a week for example?

Tenrec Sun 04-May-14 19:53:10

At 13 I couldn't cook that well. It was an odd mix of being very responsible for my food but having very little skills too, iyswim? My bio mother wasn't very responsible and fish fingers, packet foody stuff and so on was easier and cheaper. So I couldn't say, bake a cake or cook a Sunday roast as I had no one to show me the skills, but I'd still be cooking/making nearly all of my meals. By 13 I'd improved with that, but I could cook a lot less than my DC.

Tenrec Sun 04-May-14 19:50:34

My 13 and 14yo can cook quite a lot BUT I've noticed that certain very basic things have escaped them (omelettes, scrambled eggs) which I can (and now they can, but only recently) do without thinking. They can cook proper family meals- roast meals, pies, fish, curries and soups, but it's more important to learn the basic skills which will allow them to follow most recipes, rather than specific recipes. Between them, they cook twice a family meal twice a week plus a dessert, they split it how they want and there's been stuff like chicken ramen, spag Bol, shepherd's pie, a variety of curries, baklava, pizza, veg stew, beef and kidney pie and so on. Sometimes it's simple things where they're just getting stuff out of packages and using very basic skills, like sausage and mash, other times it's a lot more complex and takes all day.

clary Sun 04-May-14 19:44:08

We've got a couple of great books by Sam Stern who is (or was when he wrote them) a teenager himself - really nice recipes with proper ingredients but simply written - worth a look IMO.

Ifpigscouldfly Sun 04-May-14 11:15:57

Saying that I lived with a girl at uni that had had the best education money could buy and she could cook pasta and fry sausages. That was it.

Ifpigscouldfly Sun 04-May-14 11:14:35

I couldn't even cook toast. Didn't learn to cook til I moved out really. Although someone making a mess in her kitchen would have been too much from my Dmum so that's probably why

ivykaty44 Sun 04-May-14 10:09:25

I couldn't cook at 13 apart from baking chocolate biscuits and jam tarts. I still couldn't cook at 17 but I could read so when I left home I got a cookery book and followed what they said - it all worked out fine

luccamum Sun 04-May-14 08:51:28

Ninjaleprechaun and Nousermamesleft, you sound like me.
My mum was a professional cook, worked full time, and the last thing she wanted to do in the evening was cook.
By 11, I was cooking all the families food, otherwise we wouldn't eat.
Can't understand why kids can't.
Why should they be frightened, unless someone had told them the kitchen is a dangerous place, perhaps when they were younger?

DogCalledRudis Sun 04-May-14 08:40:59

I also have to admit that cooking was a way to sneak away some booze. I'd say to my parents -- look, the recipe says 'white wine sauce' -- i need some wine grin

DogCalledRudis Sun 04-May-14 08:34:58

At 13 i could cook a family dinner. Not boasting here, but my mother was so lousy in the kitchen, the food was revolting, so the only way to eat something that tastes better was to cook myself.

Ragwort Sun 04-May-14 08:19:54

We've started getting our 13 year old DS to take responsibility for cooking the evening meal once a week (a great family I know who I consider my 'role model' in parenting did exactly the same with their two sons who have grown into lovely young men smile).

He does things like home made burgers, stir fry, pasta with various sauces etc - does need a bit of supervision and encouragement but my one fear is that he would turn into the sort of useless DH/partner you read about on mumsnet grin.

Spottybra Sun 04-May-14 08:16:02

Packet of passata. My phone thinks its a chef now!

Spottybra Sun 04-May-14 08:15:33

Pasta, with a simple homemade sauce using a packet of pad data, onions, garlic and a stock cube.
Pancakes, Cajun chicken, stews and casseroles, simple dinners such as sausage and mash, and a roast dinner. Homemade pizza and anything that's from the freezer to the oven such as oven chips and fish fingers which they can do for friends.

Simple desserts too.

I'd expect a 13yr old to be capable of being self sufficient although I wouldn't expect them to want to be self sufficient.

PowderMum Sun 04-May-14 08:08:19

Both my DC can cook they are now 14 & 17, they are both able to use all the kitchen equipment including the stove. When they started to show an interest I just encouraged it, they can follow recipes and prepare an evening meal. However whilst the eldest will do this and enjoy it (and always has), the younger one only cooks if she has to.

PirateJones Sun 04-May-14 07:14:29

She is perfectly capable, she knows all the basics of cooking, but unless prompted she has no need to do it.

I asked becuase i want to know if asking her to cook once a week is unreasonable. DH cooks Monday and Tuesday, because I’m at work, I do Wednesday and Thursday (and weekends) now she can do Friday.

My 11 year old DD can cook bacon and egg, sausages and suchlike in the frying pan, cook pasta, do anything that just needs heating through on the hob, and can chop/dice/peel/prepare anything that goes in the slow cooker, as long as she knows how much of whatever it is to put in there.
We light the gas ring(s) for her though, as there is no automatic ignition thing so we have to use a lighter/match and I worry about her burning herself.
My 9 year old can do much the same as DD and they can both use the microwave and toaster, as can my 7 year old.
If we light the gas and put the pan on my 9 yr old can do fried stuff or heat stuff through, and he can chop stuff, but I tend to hover when he does because I worry - he is actually very capable, it's me that worries he will cut himself confused blush
7 year old is learning, he "helps" or lets me help him make things, and they are all pretty much self sufficient grin
They can all cook over an open fire oddly enough grin - we have no oven at home so they can't do anything in one, but we often barbecue or go camping and they are pretty good at outdoorsy food grin

squoosh Sat 03-May-14 23:44:53

That;s really impressive nousernamesleft! Sounds as though it may be her calling.

nousernamesleft Sat 03-May-14 23:36:40

11 yo dd can cook pretty much anything, she's doing roast chicken with all the trimmings tomorrow. Last summer she took charge for a week, planned the menu, bought everything she needed and cooked everything. She can even coordinate two separate meals at the same time - ds (8) has multiple food allergies and can't always eat what we do.

MrsWinnibago Sat 03-May-14 23:35:27

Pancakes are hard though surely? Aren't scrambled eggs easier? With pancakes you've to be fast...and the pan is heavy.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 03-May-14 23:34:00

MrsWinnibago, but you could start little and often. Pancakes is often a popular one. The recipe is simple, the cooking is simple but you have to teach them about hot pans etc. You have to DO it with them for them to learn.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 03-May-14 23:30:34

5madthings yes - more of a word here and there, about the order you do things, handy hints sort of stuff. I do keep an eye where there are sharp knives and boiling water.

MrsWinnibago Sat 03-May-14 23:29:14

I keep wanting my 9 year old to learn some basics but she's just not interested. She can make a sandwich, cup of tea and toast but that's it as I don't want her to use the cooker just yet really...

NickiFury Sat 03-May-14 23:18:29

At 13 I prepared all veg and salads etc. The fun actual cooking my Mum reserved for herself, rather like a chef who has all his minions to do the Crap Work. I could make eggs and beans on toast, sandwiches etc and bake quite a few different kind of cakes. At school I made soups, cakes, Swiss roll, curry and it was always demolished at home so must have been ok. I wasn't allowed to cook for the family weekly or anything like that though.

clary Sat 03-May-14 23:14:00

My 12yo can cook Nigella's brownies fabulously well without a recipe (occasionally checks quantities with me).

She also does simple stuff like beans on toast, cook veg/pasta, make a pasta salad or a tuna/mayo/sweetcorn sandwich filling.

She is basically pretty competent with oven/weighing/basic skills and timings, just a question of extending her repertoire.

nooka Sat 03-May-14 23:07:53

My dd is 13 and can make most things that involve a straight forward recipe. Her specialties are omelets and Ceasar salad. Generally she will cook/prepare a simple meal once a week and help with dh or I at other times. ds (almost 15) will cook if he is told to and has a similar level of skill (he's just a much lazier bugger and less sociable too) he generally likes to be assisted though grin

Nocomet Sat 03-May-14 22:49:44

DD2 is a dab hand at macaroni cheese. I'm sure she could cook all sorts of things if she put her mind to it. However, that's not likely to happen.

DD2 doesn't voluntarily do anything helpful.

Because I don't work and their bus takes forever, I generally cook. However, DD1(16) could probably cook anything she fancied give a recipe.

I could at 18 and my DM didn't really teach me. DM is a very good and impossible to help cook. She very rarely let anyone else help.

DMIL was the total opposite (and her kitchen was much bigger). She delegated tasks and we all stood round her big kitchen table chopping, chatting and suggesting alterations to the dishes as we went along.

Consequently DH can cook and I miss DMIL.

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