As a mom who has a hard time having impulsive littles in the kitchen, I did not allow my son to participate in food prep often. As he grew and became less impulsive I started to teach him the basics of cooking. As he became competent, I started to trust him with preparing breakfast, such as bacon and eggs and a few other breakfast foods. As a year went by he started to do (so called) science experiments with cooking. For example he wanted to find out how fast bacon would cook in the package. He also figured if he could cook it in the package he wouldn’t have to touch the bacon. I won’t go into too much detail but after that I wouldn’t let him cook again.
I know you must be thinking you should just continue to be with him in the kitchen let him cook supervised. Let me tell you something I am way to type A in the kitchen I tend to take over when things are not being done properly. So anyways I taught him how to cook from the age of seven until the age of nine. I figure nine was a good age to be unsupervised.
He is twelve years old now and I am trying to let him fend for himself. The other day the girls had leftovers for dinner and I was not hungry so he needed to make his own breakfast. He kept grabbing quick and easy food like larabars or the gluten-free fig bars that I get for snacks or just wanting to make yogurt and granola. Now you must be thinking “are you kidding me”; you want him to get his own food let him have it. My thinking though is that he needs to know how to make his own food. How else is he going to learn if I do not give him guidelines. This has been a struggle for a while with me. I am slowly making progress and being less controlling when it comes to food.
So it is funny that now he is fending for himself and cooking his own breakfast he thinks that he needs to break each individual egg scramble them then crack another one into the pan scramble it and then do it all over again. The end result was some of his egg was burnt and some was not. So a couple days later he decided to make himself eggs again but this time I went over and made sure the burner was down low and he cracked the eggs into the pan one after the other before scrambling them. He was much happier with the end result of cooking low and slow.
By allowing him to cook for himself i am helping him learn to be independent. He is being taught confidence, and I am hopefully raising his self esteem.