Cooking games are an enjoyable way to teach teenagers valuable life lessons and cooking skills. Meal planning and preparation is also an opportunity to spend quality time with your teenager. Let your teen plan and cook at least one meal a week, and then act as their assistant. Challenge your teen to learn new cooking skills and recipes from different ethnicities.
Create word games and trivia to test your teenager's knowledge about cooking and food safety. Have a chopping challenge to see how many onions, carrots, or other vegetables you and your teenager can safely chop in 10 minutes. Have an obstacle course set up around a meal and give your teen a time limit. The teenager must safely navigate the kitchen and prepare the meal following correct safety protocol, such as washing hands, surfaces and food before preparing; keeping flammable towels and potholders away from the stove; and keeping food at safe serving temperatures. One adult can assist the teen and another adult monitors and assigns points for how well the team performs.
Planning and Shopping
Give your teen nutritional guidelines and challenge them to research and plan one meal a week for a month. Make a game of shopping with your teen, and give them a budget to stick with. This game will teach resourcefulness and creativity, as well as economics. Challenge teenagers to use all of their senses to plan the meal so that it contains different textures, colours and smells. Encourage them to plan meals from different countries.
Design a game in which teenagers take turns identifying different ingredients. Include different cuts of meat, unusual fruits and vegetables and spices. You can do this while grocery shopping. Let teenagers pick an ingredient they have never used in the grocery store, and research how to prepare a meal that includes the ingredient. Create a game in which your teen uses ingredients from different ethnicities to prepare a meal. Guessing what cooking tools and utensils are for is another interesting game.
Play a sensory game in which teens can use ingredients around the dish but not in it to trick the senses, such as setting a bowl of soup in rosemary water to make the diner think the soup contains rosemary. Let your teenager create a meal that tells a story about them or invokes a memory. Organise a cook-off challenge in which several teens get together and cook a dish in a time limit. Try to enlist a local grocery or kitchen tool store to sponsor the event so the winner can receive a prize, such as free groceries or cooking tools.
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