What can 12 and 14 year olds make for lunch?
Since I'm working at home this summer, I'd like to have each of us (me, my 12 year old, or my 14 year old) rotate days to make lunch for everyone. They are definitely beginners at cooking, but they both are open to trying. What are some (safe and easy) things that they could make?
To encourage your "junior chefs" on their newest endeavor I would sit down with both of them at the same time and have them HELP SELECT a balanced but tasty weekly lunch menu together.
Let them learn to prepare their favorite foods, working as a team on something they are excited about will help to foster a lifelong love of cooking and provide sibling bonding.
Tween/teen favorites include: Pizza: Buy the precooked pizza crusts & sauce from a jar. Just have them cut up some colorful veggies to top it! Mac & cheese from scratch should also be doable. (Few kids realize it is only a box of plain, dry macaroni. boiled with added shredded cheddar cheese, a little milk & butter + salt & pepper) Tastes SO much better than the box with the neon colored powdered cheese too!. Tacos: (Just buy the pre-made shells so they don't have to do any deep frying). Even a good omelette, cold soup or pasta salad or Sloppy Joe's are usually a big hit! I'm sure that they will each have plenty of their own favorites to include!
Also consider purchasing a children/teens cookbook for initial inspiration!
Stir-fry's are good to start with. They can chop up their choice of meat and veggies and add sauces you buy at the grocery store. Then they can make a side of noodles or rice to go with it. Roasted meats and potatoes are easy and taste like they were difficult. Buy a whole chicken or roast beef and have them put it on a roasting pan with pierced potatoes. Let them choose the herbs and spices and roast for 375° 20 minutes a pound. They can also add squash, broccoli, cauliflower ect. Veggies taste great roasted. Another good idea is to let them look through cookbooks that you either own or borrow from the library. They'll probably enjoy picking ones out that appeal to them and that don't sound too difficult.
They could make:
- Peanut & Butter Jelly
- Microwavable Mac & Cheese
- Chicken Pieces
Salad, wraps, burgers (on the stove top with indirect supervision) - you can even get them to make the burgers from scratch with some minced beef, an egg, bread crumbs, herbs/spices, a little garlic. Very tasty cooked in bacon grease, but more healthy in olive oil. :-)
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